Friends mourn loss of Pearl City man killed at home


Honolulu Police are investigating a murder in Pearl City. A suspect is in custody and sources tell us he’s the victim’s family member.

Friends identified the victim as Stan Yamada, 53, a ramp chief for Hawaiian Airlines.

For Yamada, Chez Sports Bar and Grill near Pearlridge was his second home, and the people there were like family.

“Stan was here every day. He is a jokester. He was my cheerleader,” said employee Natasha Prince. 

So it’s no surprise that a makeshift memorial of lei, candles, and his favorite drinks started to form at his favorite seat at the bar. Friends gathered in heartache and tears.

“He had a heart of gold. He had a great heart. He would do anything for me or anybody,” said friend Larry Martin. 

Friends, coworkers, and workers at Chez tell us they were worried when they found out Yamada didn’t show up for work Tuesday, and was not at the bar.

The devastating news broke late Tuesday night when police say Yamada was found unresponsive in his home with suspicious injuries.

Neighbor Damien Leighnor thought it was unusual that Yamada’s truck was parked at home all day, but that night, he heard nothing more than a high-pitched sound. 

“I thought it was cats outside, so I came out and stopped to notice it was a cry, and when I came out, I just noticed police cars surrounding the street,” said Leighnor. 

We’re told Yamada lived with his mother and took care of her. He also worked for Hawaiian Airlines for 34 years. 

“Shock. Disbelief. Couldn’t believe it. Why him?” said Martin. “He’s going to be missed.”

Police arrested Thomas Arakaki, 31, on suspicion of second-degree murder. He was charged on Nov. 2 with murder in the second degree. Arakaki is being held on $200,000 bail. 

Police say they arrested Arakaki in the same home the victim was in.

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