Two Kauai ferry protesters charged
LIHU'E, Kaua'i — Two members of a Kaua'i-based Hawaiian sovereignty group were arrested this week on charges related to Hawaii Superferry protests at Nawiliwili Harbor.
Dayne Gonsalves, 43, of Kekaha, and Robert Pa of Hanalei, allegedly were involved in using their cars to block a ferry exit and padlocking a gate to prevent ferry passengers and their vehicles from leaving the harbor when the 350-foot high-speed catamaran made its inaugural voyage to Kaua'i on Aug. 26, according to Assistant Chief Roy Asher of the Kaua'i Police Department.
Gonsalves claims to be ali'i nui of the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi and Pa a marshal in the organization.
The two were arrested Tuesday and charged with simple trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing government operations, Asher said.
During their arrests, Pa and Gonsalves reportedly showed badges claiming to be "Hawaii federal marshals," Asher said. As a result, they were additionally charged with impersonating a police officer. The pair was released Tuesday after bail was posted.
Asher said the badges resemble those carried by local police officers. "It's dangerous because it puts all law enforcement at jeopardy. Some day someone might not take a real law enforcement person seriously," he said.
Gonsalves told The Garden Isle newspaper Thursday that his arrest was illegal.
"We're not imitating. We're a separate entity as the kingdom's marshals. They have no jurisdiction over us," he said.
As a condition of bail, Gonsalves is prohibited from being at Nawiliwili Harbor while the Hawaii Superferry is present.
About a dozen other protesters were arrested during protests Aug. 26 and 27.