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Police release photo of Kona courthouse arson suspect

MEDIA RELEASE

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a first-degree arson investigation in connection with a fire Thursday morning (March 3) at a Kona courthouse.

At 6:59 a.m. Thursday, Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of a fire at Big Island Drug Court on Halekiʻi Street in Kealakekua.

Arriving officers learned that passersby had extinguished the flames with fire extinguishers from the courthouse before police and firefighters arrived.

Two employees were in the courthouse when the fire was set but no injuries were reported. Damage was confined to the front door and a wall.

Investigation revealed that the fire was deliberately set by a “local male” wearing board shorts and a “hoodie.” He fled in a pickup truck that appears to be primer gray with a black tailgate, black rims and a black front bumper grill.

Police also want to question the occupant or occupants of a sedan who may have seen the suspect.

Police ask anyone with information about the fire, the identity of the suspect or the identity of the occupant or occupants of the sedan to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Walter Ah Mow at 326-4646, extension 238, or walter.ahmow@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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