Man arrested for death threat against Maui mayor - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Man arrested for death threat against Maui mayor

Surveillance image released by Maui Police Department Surveillance image released by Maui Police Department
Kalana O Maui County Building - Source: Wikipedia Kalana O Maui County Building - Source: Wikipedia
Mayor Maui Alan Arakawa Mayor Maui Alan Arakawa
Source: Maui Police Department Source: Maui Police Department
Austin James Gerard - Photo: Maui Police Department Austin James Gerard - Photo: Maui Police Department
WAILUKU, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Police say a 25-year-old Wailuku man was arrested Tuesday morning after he told a woman that he was going to murder Mayor Alan Arakawa.

At about 7:35 a.m., a female who had been walking her dogs near the employee parking lot of the Maui County Building, located at 200 S. High Street, encountered a man brandishing a knife.  When she asked the man what he was going to do with that knife, he allegedly told her that he was going to "murder the mayor."  She immediately left and called 911 to report the incident. 

The man then entered into the County Building, which was captured on security footage, and reportedly asked some county employees where the Mayor's Office was located and then preceded to the 9th floor.

Upon arriving on the 9th floor the man spoke to the front desk receptionist and asked to see the mayor. The receptionist said the mayor was not in yet and asked the man to sign in so she could make an appointment. The individual left a first name and his phone number and then left without making any additional threats.

Maui Police responded and initiated a Terroristic Threatening investigation.  As a result of their investigation, Maui Police were able to identify the man as Austin James Gerard.  Police then proceeded to his Wailuku residence and arrested Gerard without incident.  Preliminary investigation revealed that male may have been suffering from possible mental health issues. The male was then transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for evaluation.

In response to the situation, Mayor Arakawa said he does not plan to change his open door policy, and said the 9th floor doors will remain unlocked as they have been since the start of his administration last year.

"I feel this is an isolated incident," Arakawa said. "I am thankful to police for their quick response and to this witness who reported the incident so promptly. But these doors will remain open.  People need to feel free to come in, make an appointment and talk to their government officials."

We will have more on this story tonight on Hawaii News Now.

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