HPP residents up in arms after disruptive police incident

  • ROBERTO SEGOBIA

  • JOHN KALEOLANI OVERTURF

A midday Monday incident in Hawaiian Paradise Park involving police, a low-flying county helicopter and numerous sounds that neighbors construed as gunfire have some nearby residents in shock and wondering why police didn’t notify them about what had occurred.

Social media blew up Monday afternoon, with one poster to the Big Island Thieves Facebook page reporting seeing helicopters near Kaloli Drive and hearing “some guy with a megaphone” ordering someone to “please drop your weapons” — followed by five to seven gunshots.

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“There was a narcotics search warrant executed on a house on 17th (Avenue), police Lt. Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Hilo Criminal Investigations Section said Tuesday morning. “Three people were taken into custody without incident. There were no gunshots. There were no injuries.”

The three arrested were 38-year-old John Kaleolani Overturf of Holualoa, 50-year-old Jacqueline Overturf of Yamhill, Ore., and 28-year-old Roberto Segobia of Kealakekua. Segobia is not the police officer of the same name.

All were arrested on suspicion of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, essentially simple possession of methamphetamine. None were charged as of Tuesday morning.

John Overturf was charged with violating terms of release and three counts of contempt of court. According to court records, he has been wanted on an arrest warrant issued May 13, 2019, after he missed a court date on two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Asked if the police used flash or percussion grenades or if tear gas was deployed during the execution of the search warrant, Amon-Wilkins said the Special Response Team “did use several nonlethal diversionary devices, which could sound like gunshots.”

Amon-Wilkins said the county chopper and Fire Rescue “were standing by as a precaution … because of the risk, due to information given to officers.”

The social media account of the incident was similar to one given to the Tribune-Herald Tuesday by a nearby resident who requested anonymity, who said it sounded as though five shots were fired from a large-caliber firearm.

“They were extremely loud. This was no ordinary handgun. It was loud,” the resident said.

“I can tell you that I opened my gun safe, and I was prepared. The helicopter appeared like it was looking for people running through the forest … ,” he continued. “My wife was terrified. As soon as the loud blasts went off, she was on her face on the ground, outside. … One of the neighbors ran and hid, and one of the other neighbors got in their truck and fled the scene immediately.”

The resident said the helicopter hovered over his property and others, and estimated that it was flying no higher than 100 feet.

He said the neighborhood is rife with criminal activity — such as burglary, thefts and drugs — and he hears gunfire frequently at night. He did express surprise, however, that such a disruptive, noisy police-involved event could take place during broad daylight without a media release or Nixle alert — a tool police use to notify the public of road closures and other advisories — sometime shortly thereafter, to inform the community things had returned to normal.

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“Hawaiian Paradise Park,” the resident said. “It’s not a park, and it sure isn’t paradise.”

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