As more people let loose, complaints about illegal parties are popping up across Oahu

Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 12:50 PM HST
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(HONOLULU) - A concert organizer is facing charges after pushing forward with an event that police told him to cancel, and authorities say the gathering isn’t isolated.

In fact, complaints about illegal parties are popping up across Oahu as more people let loose.

Two weekends ago, roughly 500 people crammed into a Quonset hut in Waianae for a concert. This past weekend, police busted a large concert in Kapolei and arrested two people.

Among those taken into custody: Promoter Christian Ulufanua, 27, who claimed he tried to work with police. “It’s my event and I invited everyone so I chanced it,” he told Hawaii News Now.

Police said prior to the event they recommended the event be canceled.

Angela Keen, founder of Kapu Breakers Group and a COVID survivor, says tips about illegal parties like the one in Kapolei get posted on the group’s Facebook page.

“Family members are scared when they have another family member who are at these parties and they tell us,” said Keen. “We are not snitches,” she added.

The state Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch says it’s also seen in increase in complaints about illegal private parties.

Peter Oshiro, environmental health program manager, says he’s seen good compliance among licensed restaurants, which regulators can investigate. Be he adds large private events are difficult to track.

“If the complaint is they are having large quantities of people after hours, we don’t have the resources to jump out there ... and shut the party down. Again, we don’t regulate that kind of events at all.”

Still, he worries about rising COVID cases.

“People really have got to be cognizant that this pandemic is not over,” he said.

Paul Epstein, director of the the Hawaii State Fusion Center, also gets community tips about illegal gatherings and forwards them to the appropriate agency.

“You have multiple people getting together, indoors, outdoors in violations of the governor’s proclamation. A lot of people refuse to wear masks and it’s a spreader,” Epstein said.

For more information and to contact the Fusion Center, click here.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.