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Man accused of threatening Hilo gas station patrons with BB pistol

A 47-year-old Pahoa man with no permanent address allegedly asked several customers at a Hilo gas station to give him gas, and when no one was willing to do so, threatened them with a BB pistol that looked like a real handgun.

Shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, a 29-year-old man told officers he was filling up several gas cans at the Minit Stop across from the Prince Kuhio Plaza when the man, identified by police as Steven John, approached the victim and said, “Oh braddah, I trying to get gas and nobody like help me. Ho, you get plenty gas,” according to court documents filed by police.

The complainant reportedly said he told the man he needed all the gas he was pumping, and the man walked away and asked customers at other pumps for gas, documents state.

After the others refused, John allegedly drove by in a sedan with the driver’s window rolled down and said, “All you (expletives) no like give me gas! You all think this is funny?”

Documents state John looked directly at the complainant, reached down and pulled out a black handgun with a silver slide and cocked the slide before driving off.

Officers located the vehicle shortly afterward on Kanoelehua Avenue near Leilani Street and took John into custody without incident.

A search warrant was executed on the car and officers found a black Daisy .177-caliber BB gun with a retractable slide and removable magazine, which police say resembled an authentic handgun.

John was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment upon conviction, and driving without a license and insurance.

During John’s initial court appearance Wednesday, Deputy Public Defender Jonas Krave asked Hilo Circuit Judge Harry Freitas to free John on court-supervised release without cash bail, a request objected to by Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Soong.

Freitas denied the release request and ordered John, whom documents state has three prior felony convictions, to appear at 3 p.m. today for a preliminary hearing.

John remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $11,000 bail.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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