Hilo pair charged with Puako robbery

  • RHYAN RICKMAN
  • AARON MELIM

Police charged a 34-year-old Hilo man and 27-year-old Hilo woman with offenses stemming from a strong-arm robbery Jan. 7 near Puako Beach in South Kohala.

The man, Aaron A.K. Melim, is charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree assault and accomplice to unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle.

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The woman, Rhyan Rickman, was charged with accomplice to second-degree robbery, accomplice to second-degree assault and accomplice to unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle.

According to court documents, the alleged victim said he met up with Rickman at about 5:30 a.m. at the Puako boat harbor after she asked him for some gas money. The man told police that after meeting her, he drove to an empty lot on Puako Beach Drive with Rickman following in her own car.

The man said after he got out of his car, he was approached by two men, one whom he knew as “Aaron.” He said the other man, a stranger, restrained him while Aaron punched him so hard he fell to the ground, where the assault allegedly continued and the alleged victim briefly lost consciousness.

The alleged victim told police that Rickman and the unknown man entered his vehicle and stole his backpack, which he said contained about $300 in cash, an iPhone, the title to his car and a Kenwood CD deck, according to court documents.

Documents state the man suffered a broken right eye socket and a laceration and hematoma to his scalp. He was treated at North Hawaii Community Hospital and released the following day.

Melim and Rickman were arrested Thursday in Papaikou.

Both made their initial court appearances Monday in South Kohala District Court and were ordered to return today for a preliminary hearing.

Both remained in custody late Monday afternoon in Hawaii Community Correctional Center, according to the state Department of Public Safety website.

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Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the second man, whose identity and physical description is unknown. Anyone with information is asked to call the police nonemergency number at 961-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitirbune-herald.com.

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