A man known for his environmental investigations in Hawaii says his cars were fire bombed overnight, and the victim says he believes he knows who committed the crime.
Surveillance cameras captured video of intense flames on the hoods of two vehicles belonging to Carroll Cox as they sat outside his Mililani home just before 11 p.m.
Cox, whom Hawaii News Now has collaborated with on several exclusive environmental investigations, told police that he heard a thud and the sound of a car driving away before he spotted the flames outside.
Cox and his neighbors used a fire extinguisher and a garden hose to put out the fire before it spread. Fire department officials said the flames were contained to the vehicles and did not spread to any structures.
Police and investigators with the Honolulu Fire Department were at the scene of the fire following the incident. Officials told Hawaii News Now that an arson investigation had been opened, and that damage was estimated at approximately $3,000.
Cox believes the alleged attack was the result of his investigations into illegal dumping and leases on land owned by the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.
"In one sense, I feel bad, my actions bringing trouble to this quiet community," Cox said after the incident. "My apology, but that's where it stops. No, it will not deter my work, because I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm doing what I do to expose waste, fraud and abuse."
Hawaii News Now has published portions of those investigations.
In May, Cox was treated and released from a Honolulu-area hospital after he said he was attacked by two masked men who hit him with a pipe. Cox said he was trying to record people moving a building off of Hawaiian Homelands property.
After communicating with fire and police officials following Wednesday's incident, Cox said that it looked like flares had been used to start the fire, and that he had noticed what appeared to be some kind of liquid dripping from the hood of his vehicles down into the engine block. Sources confirmed that an accelerant was used.
No one was hurt in the incident. The investigation remains ongoing.