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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 18, 2006

Motorcyclist in Kona crash dies

Advertiser Staff

A 53-year-old Captain Cook man injured in a motorcycle crash Thursday in Kona died Saturday at The Queen's Medical Center.

Big Island police identified the man as Craig R. Demer.

The crash on Highway 11 near the 114-mile marker was reported to police at 2:46 a.m. Police said Demer, who was not wearing a helmet, was operating a 2004 Kawasaki that ran off the roadway and struck a stone wall.


A 71-year-old man, convicted in 1980 for the rape and shooting of a McCully woman, was arrested Friday at his 2nd Avenue residence on a warrant charging him with failure to register as a convicted sex offender.

Vernon Reiger Sr., also known as Vernon Ray Scott, was indicted Dec. 6. According to the indictment, Reiger did not comply with registration requirements since June 5, 1999, when he was released from prison.

Reiger was arrested 4:10 a.m. Friday. He posted $25,000 bail and has a District Court appearance scheduled 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

The victim of the 1979 attack survived. According to court testimony, the woman was shot with a gun equipped with a silencer. Reiger was described at trial as a former "syndicate hit man."

The 1979 attack occurred at a McCully apartment building where another woman was raped and shot to death a year earlier. The March 1978 slaying of Elise Watanabe case is an unsolved homicide. In both cases, police suspect a master key was used to gain entrance to apartments.

Police were not available for comment on whether Reiger's arrest is connected to any cold-case investigation.


A man visiting from Alabama drowned yesterday at Kaua'i's Lumaha'i Beach while trying to rescue a teenage swimmer in distress.

Kaua'i County spokeswoman Mary Daubert said police would not identify the man until next of kin are notified.

Kaua'i Fire Department officials said a 14-year-old boy from Honolulu was swept out at Lumaha'i Beach near the river mouth at around noon yesterday. Three Alabama men along with the boy's grandfather and another visitor in the area saw that the boy was in trouble and jumped in to try to help him.

But with a very strong current, rough seas and a four-foot shorebreak to deal with, they all had difficulty in the water themselves. Surfers and bodyboarders helped bring everyone to shore.

A retired police officer started to administer CPR to the Alabama man, then firefighters and emergency medical technicians arrived and continued life-saving efforts. Despite their efforts, the victim was pronounced dead at Wilcox Hospital. The boy and the other Alabama men were treated at Wilcox.


A 37-year-old man with no permanent local address was charged Saturday for auto theft and burglary.

Jeffery Damon Ellis is accused of unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, theft and possession of a deadly weapon. His bail was set at $25,000. Ellis was also wanted on an outstanding warrant. His appearance is tomorrow at District Court.

Ellis was arrested 2:45 a.m. Friday on Young Street after a witness called police to report a person removing items from a condominium's secured parking garage and loading them into a car that was reported stolen.

Police said Ellis was in possession of three credit cards belonging to two different people, and brass knuckles.

A woman who was a passenger in the vehicle was also arrested. Precious Annicole Pilongo, 26, of a Mo'ili'ili address, was charged with misdemeanor unlawful entry into a motor vehicle. She was released after posting $2,000 bail.


A 19-year-old man arrested Wednesday after a police chase in Central O'ahu was charged Friday for auto theft.

Nathan Branco, no permanent local address, is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail. His initial appearance is tomorrow at District Court.

Branco, who was placed on five years' probation in November after pleading guilty to four auto-theft charges, has ties with GTAG, or Grand Theft Auto Gang, an auto-theft ring whose members allegedly play out video-game scenarios, according to court records.

Branco was arrested Wednesday after being spotted by police in a stolen car. While fleeing from police, he drove the car into two other vehicles on Pali Momi Street, police said.

Police found him hiding in the mangroves at McGrew Point.

In an unrelated case, police on Friday captured a juvenile escapee from the Hawai'i Youth Correctional Facility who also is known to have ties to the gang. The juvenile escaped in October and was arrested in the Halawa area on an anonymous tip.


Police have opened a first-degree assault investigation after a hospital yesterday reported injuries suffered by a child under 3 years old.

The child is from the Wai'anae area and suffered the injuries sometime between 10 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. yesterday, according to police.

No other details were available.


A 10-year-old boy was critically injured yesterday when he and his brother were struck by a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo multipurpose vehicle on Hawai'i Belt Road and Apua Road in Honoka'a.

The boy and his brother, 13, were on a bicycle that went through a stop sign on Apua Road at 8:13 a.m., and they were broadsided by the truck, police said.

The vehicle was driven by a 63-year-old man, police said.

The younger boy was medevaced to The Queen's Medical Center, while his brother is at North Hawai'i Community Hospital in fair condition.

Police on the Big Island are asking anyone who may have witnessed the collision to call officer Andres Fojas at (808) 961-8889.