Kauai police kill Kalaheo man

SUBHEAD: A 21-year-old man was shot and killed Friday night at Nawiliwili Harbor by four police officers.

By Darin Moriki on 18 August 2013 for the Garden Island News -

Image above: Mason Saio, Asia Villatora and (daughter) Macy Saio are seen in this undated photo. From original article.

[IB Publisher's note: It would seem that the police were trolling Nawiliwili for "illegal" activity.  That could be anything from drinking a beer, smoking a joint or loitering. Is this the top priority of Kauai law enforcement? At 10:30pm, in the dark, how was it observed that Mason Saio had two guns in his car? KPD Chief Perry seems to have indicated that all 15 shots fired at the scene were from police 40 caliber weapons. Why is this shooting characterized as a gun battle if Saio fired no shots? Was that level of force necessary to subdue him? On the surface it sounds more like an execution. I would add that police seem to be getting more fearful and trigger happy over time.]

Mason Saio, a 21-year-old Kalaheo man was shot and killed Friday night at Nawiliwili during a confrontation with four police officers.

On Saturday, a small bouquet of flowers in a white, five-gallon bucket and an open can of beer were placed against a stone wall along the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty, which marked the spot where Saio was shot.

According to county officials, the incident began shortly after 10:40 p.m. while Kauai Police Department officers were conducting a “routine check for criminal activity” in the Nawiliwili jetty area.

The officers came upon a gathering of adults and juveniles, including Saio, who was in a parked vehicle holding two firearms.

The officers told Saio to drop his weapons, according to county officials.

Saio allegedly threw one of the guns out of the car but held on to the other.

The officers repeatedly told Saio to drop his weapon, but he pointed the firearm toward the officers, according to county officials said.

“To prevent their death or serious bodily injury, the officers fired their weapons to stop the threat,” a county news release states.

Saio died following the shooting. None of the witnesses and police officers at the scene were injured.

Kauai Police Chief Daryl Perry confirmed the guns fired during the incident were the police officers’ standard issue .40 caliber firearms.

The officers involved in the shooting were at the scene for about an hour before they were transported to the police station, according to Perry.

“It was a gun battle, is what it was,” said Tommy Neuhoff, a resident at Banyan Harbor Resort.

Neuhoff said he heard two rounds of gunshots but initially thought the gunshots were fireworks. In all, he estimates about 15 shots were fired during the incident. KPD was unable to confirm how many shots were fired.

Before his death, Saio was scheduled to stand trial on Aug. 26 for the robbery of a Koloa Chevron and an assault on the gas station’s late-night clerk in January 2012.

He was tried in December 2012, but Judge Kathleen Watanabe declared a mistrial when a 5th Circuit jury could not produce a verdict.

At the scene of the shooting Saturday, a group of Saio’s close friends and family members gathered at a makeshift memorial near the end of the jetty to remember his “infectious smile and stubborn but caring personality.”

“You could say so much about Mason,” said Asia Villatora, the mother of Saio’s two children, as she gazed out at the setting sun from the bay. “He was such a hard head but he was a good person with a good heart. I only want to remember all of the good times.”

In the distance, she pointed out the Nawiliwili Lighthouse, where Saio took her on their first date nearly four years ago.

“He was such an awesome person,” Villatora said. “He always tried to make me laugh and was the only one to make me feel comfortable in my own skin. He was always there in his own way — sometimes he wasn’t there physically, but I could feel it.”

The officers involved in the incident have been placed on a mandatory three-day administrative leave as KPD’s investigation continues.

“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased,” Perry said in a statement. “I want to assure the public that this shooting will be investigated completely and vigorously.”

[IB Publisher's note : Kauai Police in Nawiliwili Harbor. Images below show KPD & Unified Command in Nawiliwili Harbor during the time of Superferry attempts to land on Kauai.]

Image above: Kauai Police, as part of the Unified Command,  are paid to guard the Superferry from Kauai residents who didn't want it dock in Nawiliwili Harbor. In the end the people won and the Superferry was forced out of business. Photo by Carl Wright. From (http://islandbreath.org/2007Year/09-access&transport/0709-21PleaToKauaiReps.html).

Image above: Dayne Aipoalani faces KPD in Nawiliwili Harbor who guard Superferry gate on 8/18/07 as he demonstrates the authority of the people of Kauai to refuse the Superferry access to to the island. Photo by Juan Wilson. From (http://www.islandbreath.org/2008Year/15-justice_law/0815-11PoliceOverReact.html).

Image above: Kauai police "special forces" in military style uniform, ,part of the "Unified Command" getting ready to eject Superferry demonstrators from Nawiliwili Harbor. Photo by Jonathan Jay. From (http://islandbreath.org/2007Year/09-access&transport/0709-20EISneededforHSF.html)

Image above: Coast Guard zodiac launch patrolling Nawiliwili Harbor as part of the Unified Command (that included Homeland security and the Kauai Police Department) . Note officer at bow has hands on 50 caliber machine gun as the launch passes a child on pier amongst demonstrators. From (http://islandbreath.org/2007Year/15-justice/0715-08CoastGuardZone.html).

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Militarization of "Peace Officers" 12/5/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Occupy Movement & Police Militarization 10/20/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Militarization of Public Shoreline 7/20/11
Island Breath: The Kauai Police Mission 5/15/08
Island Breath: KPD Police Patrolling 76/7/08
Island Breath: Cops need bikes - not riot gear 4/5/08



Anonymous said...

“routine check for criminal activity”

what is Perry's definition of this? if it is routine, than how come we don't know what it is? it's the way they use language to manipulate the masses. perry is the Gestapo up and coming.
also, was there a complaint about the activity's? was this provoked by KyPD? perry needs to answer for this.

shelly808 said...

this is wrong what these cops did to this boy who has a baby. yes the boy had a gun or 2 but he did not fire any. and expecially to fire fifteen shots. geeesh the boy was dead already and shots was still being fired. totall uncalled for, straight up execution style. theres more to the story then people no, this boy new something about the cop that the cop did not want it to be exposed which would put the cop probally behind bars for a long time. and thats the main reason they killed the boy. come on wake up kauai and think, they shot the boy and kept shooting, they wanted to make sure the boy had no life left, the cops wanted this boy dead. and how the hell did the cop no this boy had guns on his lap when it was dark. this was all a set up some friends of ours had a scanner and we listened to the scanner that night and it sounded like they had a plan. it dont take 4 officers to do a routine check for criminal activity and there were 4 officers involved and what was said on the scanner was 2 officers were going to make a check at nawiliwili and then nothing else was said about that then a while later the next thing that we heard was officers calling all the officers on the island to get to lihue and then we heard the medics say they no see no life in him. come on now, they did not call for back up on the scanner. if the boy had 2 guns and he was flashing it around or even pointing it at the cops we would of heard them calling for back up on the scanner. but some how there were 4 officers involved and only 2 were suppose to be making the routine check. so we bilieve this was all a set up, as we no friends of the boy that got killed. and what these officers got was a 3 day leave. so corrupt these cops. if these cops were to get consequences for there actions, the same punishment we get when we break the law, tthen they would think twice before doing any thing wrong and if that was to happen then there would be less corruption on kauai because these cops would not want to spend years in prison. but cops dont get punished when they do the wrong things so they keep on doing corrupt things because they no they will get away with it. wake up kauai we had put an end into the super ferry from coming to kauai we can put a stop to the corruption in these cops.

Anonymous said...

these kauai cops are trigger happy cops and the more they get away with it the more it is happening. if we shot and killed some one and claim self defense we still get sent to prison until we proove it was in self defense. and expecially if we shot as many times as these cops did, we would get slammed in prison and the key thrown away. its not fair, the cops are the real criminals on kauai protected by there badge.

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