Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard spoke out about the arrests that were made overnight and Friday morning during the transport of Na Pua Makani equipment.
A total of 55 people were arrested, 22 at Kalaeloa and 33 in Kahuku for Disobeying a Police Officer. All have since posted $100 bail and have been released.
Chief Ballard also asked for information about a pole that was cut down with a chainsaw on Kamehameha Highway. The pole blocked the road that the convoy was to take and knocked out power in the Sunset Beach area. A First Degree Criminal Property Damage investigation has been opened.
Hawaiian Electric Company President and CEO, Alan Oshima released the following statement:
Our priority is always the safety of our customers and the safety of our employees. Cutting a utility pole is extremely dangerous and we’re lucky no one was killed or seriously hurt.
This reckless act of vandalism endangered the entire North Shore community. More than 1,000 residents were initially left without power and with the road blocked, police, fire and EMTs responding to an emergency would have been significantly delayed.
Our Hawaiian Electric repair crew was delayed for more than an hour in stalled traffic, extending the length of the outage and road closure. Thousands of residents were kept from getting to school and work.
I want to thank our Hawaiian Electric crews who responded safely and professionally in the early morning hours under challenging conditions to serve our customers.
The State Department of Transportation also released a statement.
“HDOT personnel were in the field during the transport with HPD and the contractor to help manage unforeseen circumstances. No technical issues with the convoy itself were experienced and no other actions could have been taken by the contractor to prevent this morning’s delay. The fallen pole was not the fault of the contractor. We will continue to review the transport operations in consultation with HPD and the contractor to determine if timeline adjustments are necessary, or if the permitted times need to be extended. It is important to note the contractor vehicles are not able to turnaround once the transport begins and need to continue to the worksite.”Deputy director ed sniffen, HDot highways division