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Attorneys question release of Maui woman accused of pointing loaded gun at victim

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 11:23 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Maui Prosecutor’s Office is questioning the release of a woman who was filmed on camera last week pointing a firearm at a victim.

Melanie Sauer, 49, was arrested last Tuesday in Makawao and charged with assault, terroristic threatening and firearms offenses. Authorities say the gun was loaded and it was reported stolen in West Virginia.

It was not registered in Hawaii.

A Maui judge has since granted Sauer supervised release.

The prosecutor and the attorney for the victim say Sauer is a danger to the community.

“It’s astounding that she’s carrying a concealed weapon that’s not registered to her. That she brought it illegally into the state and she pointed a loaded gun at someone’s head and threatened to shoot them and she’s been allowed out on supervised release,” said defense attorney Myles Breiner.

Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage called the suspect “a danger to the community.”

Attorneys said the incident began when Sauer started taking photos of Breiner’s client who was at the property for an acupuncture appointment. Breiner’s client eventually took Sauer’s phone away.

“Ms. Sauer started taking pictures of her car … a scuffle ensued … Ms. Sauer reaches into a fanny pack that she has and pulls out a Derringer pistol,” Littlepage said.

“We don’t know why she’s doing the videotaping, but it’s intrusive coming up to someone and putting their hand in their face and videotaping them. You’re almost inviting a negative reaction,” said Breiner. “Even if it was uncalled for, grabbing the cellphone, you don’t pull out a gun and point it at someone’s head.”

Sauer’s bail was originally set at $6,000. Littlepage said he asked for $25,000.

Instead, Judge Kirstin Hamman granted Sauer supervised release.

Littlepage said he understands the court must consider the pandemic is considering release.

“But someone who is carrying a loaded firearm that can be concealed easily in just a fanny pack … they are an extreme danger to the public,” he said.

Sauer’s defense attorney declined to comment. Sauer is due back in court next week.

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