‘Steward’ of remote West Oahu beach charged with harassment after encounters with visitors
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man who claims he’s protecting a remote Oahu beach is facing charges for the way he’s been treating outsiders.
People in the area know the man, Samson Souza, as “Brother Sam.”
He’s been posted up at Makua Beach for the last six months.
He says the situation reached a boiling point when he noticed tourist vans and boats coming to this area bringing people to see the dolphins.
A DLNR sign at the beach says, “No commercial activity,” but Souza says that is not being enforced at the quiet beach at the far end of Oahu’s west side.
“Swimming with the dolphins, which is against the law. They take pictures of this place and some of them put it on their websites and make money off of it,” said Souza.
Souza, a Native Hawaiian, says he felt it was his kuleana to watch over this area that he and others feel is becoming too popular with tourists.
“DLNR, NOAA Fisheries. They’re not doing their job,” said Souza.
But his actions have sometimes led to hostilities.
“I had heard there was a guy down at Makua threatening people so immediately pulled right up next to them and got out my car and said you cannot be threatening people,” said Emily Silge, who visited the beach.
Encounters like this one led the Honolulu prosecutor to charge Souza with harassment and second-degree terroristic threatening.
Both the city and state told Hawaii News Now on Thursday that it’s not in their jurisdiction.
“He was calling me all these racial slurs telling me because I’m haole, and I’m white I’m not allowed to be at this beach because this is where his ancestors are,” said Slige.
On Wednesday, he was surrounded by friends and other locals who support his efforts.
Souza plans to attend his next court appearance on Dec. 28, but says will continue to stay at the beach and continue to be what he calls “a steward of the land.”
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