Two Puna Lava Residents Arrested For Criminal Trespassing

Two Puna Lava Residents Arrested For Criminal Trespassing

It has been reported that two Puna lava residents were arrested late Thursday night for criminal trespassing after bragging to reporters and showcasing some of the items that they brought after dipping into the Puna lava flow.

Police officials stated that 65-year-old Ruth Crawford of Kae'au and 59-year-old Paul Koch of Pahoa trespassed through the county land to reach the lava flow.

Officials further said that the couple was sent into police custody after they allegedly tried to return to the lava flow, possibly to dip items into the lava.

Hawai'i County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said that the situation is quite disheartening. Oliveira ones again asked the public to cooperate with them to keep everyone safe and out of the restricted areas.

Pahoa Village Road is still closed for the non-residents between Post Office Road and Apa'a Street.

Oliveira said, "There will be a time and a place for viewing. Right now we're trying to keep everyone safe, as well as trying to support the community that's dealing with this and allow them to have some peace in their life".

Officials said that Crawford and Koch's bail is set at $250 each. But because the alleged trespassing occurred during the situation when emergency was declared, officials believe that the couple could face enhanced penalties.

Officials have also asked the resident who live along Pahoa Village Road & Apa'a Street to try to behave responsibly in order to stay protected from the lava flow. They also suggested the residents to enjoy the Halloween.

Pahoa resident Kapono Kaaihue Jr. told Hawaii News while sharing his views about Halloween that he is very fond of candies and costumes they get during Halloween festival.

Officials affirmed that they are hoping that it will be an uneventful but enjoyable evening for the residents of Pahoa village and Apa'a.

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