A man accused of harassing people at a Manoa park has been released while he awaits his trial.
He’s been convicted previously of assault, terroristic threatening and disorderly conduct.
He spoke exclusively with KHON2 on Monday afternoon to share his side of the story.
Manoa Valley District Park is a popular park that’s used by lots of kids and adults.
Police say on Friday night, a man was trying to pick a fight with people at the park, and even kicked one man on the back of the leg.
“We located a possible suspect on Saturday night. He was positively identified and was arrested for the offense,” said Honolulu Police Major Calvin Tong.
22-year-old Yama Fazzari was charged with harassment, which is a petty misdemeanor.
He appeared in court on Monday afternoon, represented by a public defender.
“Your honor, at this time Mr. Fazzari would be entering a plea of not guilty to the charge. And I’m asking the matter be set for trial. We are asking for Mr. Fazzari’s release in the interim, noting the recommendation is for supervised release. Mr. Fazzari is both a full-time employee at Domino’s Pizza and is a full-time student at Kapiolani Community College, so we’re asking for his release in the interim,” said the public defender.
The prosecution requested Fazzari undergo substance abuse assessment and treatment, saying the reason for that is: “The officers, while they were doing the investigation, were in contact with Mr. Fazzari’s mother, who did represent he was supposed to be in drug treatment.”
The judge granted court-supervised release, but also told Fazzari: “You must stay away from Manoa Valley District Park. Is that understood?” Fazzari replied: “Yes ma’am.”
Fazzari spoke with KHON2 after he was released: “I guess I hang out at Manoa a little bit too much. I guess the community is suspicious every time, calling the cops and stuff.”
Fazzari added: “I’m a good person, you know what I’m saying mostly, for the most part, I try not to bother anybody.”
“I don’t think so. I mean why would half a dozen citizens report the same thing similar incident, for laughs?” said Raleigh Ferdun of the Manoa (Upper Woodlawn) Neighborhood Security Watch.
Manoa Neighborhood Security Watch members say a man fitting Fazzari’s description has been harassing residents.
“He jumps out of his car, threatens to punch them, yells at them, so on so forth,” Ferdun said.
“For the past month there’s been four or five incidents that I’ve heard about,” said Norman Wong of the Manoa (College Hill) Neighborhood Security Watch.
Fazzari admits he followed a couple last week, but only after it appeared they were following him and talking bad about him.
“They drove to Manoa Shopping Center, they start driving in circles I was like okay, so I was driving in circles following them to park or something so I could ask them, hey man, why are you following me,” Fazzari said.
Although the community says there’ve been a handful of incidents, police say only two victims have filed police reports.
It was a topic of discussion during Monday night’s Neighborhood Security Watch meeting.
“The person that was arrested matches the description of several of the incidents they’re talking about. But these were incidents reported to each other and not to the police department,” Tong said.
So far, Fazzari was arrested for one harassment case, and that’s for the incident that happened on Friday night.
So the important message from the meeting — make sure you report incidents to police and not just to your neighbors.