VIDEO: Campers attacked at Kauai park, police seek witnesses

Police investigate report on campers at Kauai park
Image from cell phone video
Image from cell phone video

LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police are investigating a report of an attack at a west Kauai campsite that allegedly left a group of young men with smashed windows, black eyes, and busted lips.

The incident happened early Sunday morning in Polihale State Park at the end of a 5-mile dirt road.

Megan Wong of Kilauea tells Hawaii News Now that her brother was at the party at the campsite when more than two dozen people with baseball bats showed up; some said they had guns.

"Some people came and surrounded their tent area and took down their sound system and said they were gonna take whatever they wanted and there was nothing they could do about it and then they just started mobbing them, attacking them like 5-to-1," said Wong.

Wong says the group took tents, generators, coolers and other items and used baseball bats to damage vehicles.

Hawaii News Now has obtained cell phone video that appears to show the confrontation. The cell phone video is grainy, but it is clear that the tension is high. You can hear many voices eventually turns into screaming.

Wong says that during the attack the group was shouting, "west-side united."

Police received an anonymous call of an assault in progress at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Officers were on scene within 30 minutes to find no evidence of any altercation, theft or disturbance. Furthermore, officers could not locate anyone in need of police or medical assistance.

Polcie say since that time, no one has come forward to provide information to police.

"No one wants to get to the bottom of this story more than the police department," stated Kaua'i Police Chief Darryl Perry. "But to be perfectly frank, at this point we don't have a case. Without statements from victims or witnesses, we will be hard-pressed to hold anyone who may have broken the law accountable for their actions. Additionally, the community has the right to know if in fact these incidents took place because it is highly unusual for victims and witnesses not to come forward."

In the meantime, police will be supporting officers with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources in stepping up enforcement at the state park. Beachgoers are reminded that a camping permit must be obtained by the State Parks office in order to camp overnight at Polihale Beach.

"This story is of great concern to our close-knit community, residents and visitors alike," stated Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. "Our families have a right to feel safe while enjoying the beauty of our parks and beaches, even in the most remote locations of our island. I encourage anyone with information on this case to please contact police. We can all play a role in preventing crime on our island and helping to keep our community safe, but we must work together."

Wong says comments reporting similar experiences are piling up on her Facebook page.

"There were tons of people who started writing saying this happened to my son 3 years ago, exact same thing, same group of guys. This happened to someone six months ago. "

She is urging the people who were there to file police reports to help build a case.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact police immediately at 241-1711. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call CrimeStoppers at 241-1887.

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