Big Island man arrested for hitchhiking robbery, pulling knife on tourists now investigated for alleged sex assault

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Convicted violent criminals being let back onto the streets is something Big Island police have called frustrating. A man convicted of a violent robbery was arrested again after another violent encounter.

In 2020, 33-year-old was arrested for robbery after he invited two Canadian tourists to his house for dinner, threatened the couple with a knife and took their stuff. Now, he is back behind bars.

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On Oct. 20, 2021, a victim said he picked up Botelho from the side of the road in Puna while on a trip to Hilo. The pair then went to a fast-food drive-thru. The victim told police Botelho began to act erratically.

“As the victim looked over towards him, he could see that he was holding a couple of knives and a pistol firearm,” Hawaii Police Department Lt. Rio Amon-Wilkins said. “And then he started making threats to the driver; so the driver, obviously, you’re fearing for his safety, his life — he jumped out of his car and ran off to safety.”

In December 2020, Botelho was sentenced to probation for the robbery incident involving the two Canadian visitors. In April 2021, his probation officer filed a request to have him re-sentenced because he violated parole by failing to show up for appointments and tested positive for marijuana. Botelho was also kicked out of a drug treatment program due to threatening behavior with other participants.

“We have to deal with a lot of repeat offenders, and obviously, it does get frustrating for the police. And obviously, it gets frustrating for the community as well,” Lt. Amon-Wilkins added.

Hawaii police said Bothelo is also under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman on Oct. 4 in Hilo.

“Being the victim of a crime, especially in violent crime, and then knowing that suspects are potentially going to be out in the street, and you know, you may come into contact with them again. You know, a week or several months — maybe even a year — down the line,” Lt. Amon-Wilkins explained.

Botelho’s bail is set at $130,000, and he remains in police custody.

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Big Island Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen told KHON2 that he is seeking legislation for stiffer penalties for repeat and violent offenders through mandatory sentencing.

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