Not guilty plea for man who allegedly threatened mayor’s life; trial date set

WAILUKU – A Wailuku man, facing a charge alleging he threatened Mayor Alan Arakawa’s life last year, was ordered to have no contact with the mayor and to stay away from the Kalana O Maui building.

Austin Gerard Jr., 25, pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree terroristic threatening during his arraignment Wednesday in 2nd Circuit Court.

A Nov. 18 trial was set for Gerard, who is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail pending a bail hearing Friday.

According to police records, Gerard was arrested on the warrant shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Court records indicate a Maui County grand jury indicted Gerard in December on the charge alleging he made the threat on June 12, 2012.

At about 7:35 a.m. that day, a woman walking her dogs near the employee parking lot of the county building reported encountering a man with a knife. When she asked the man what he was going to do with the knife, he told her he was going to “murder the mayor,” police said.

The woman called 911.

Security footage showed the man entering the county building. He went to the ninth floor and asked to see the mayor. The front desk receptionist told the man that the mayor wasn’t in yet and asked the man to sign in so she could make an appointment. Police said the man was rambling and left a first name and his phone number, then left.

Police identified the man as Gerard, who was arrested at his residence on South Market Street later that morning. Because a preliminary investigation showed Gerard may have been suffering from possible mental health issues, police said, he was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center for evaluation.

Police reported recovering a kitchen knife with a 6-inch blade near Gerard at his residence.

In court Wednesday, Judge Rhonda Loo also ordered Gerard to maintain his mental health treatment and to not consume alcohol or illegal drugs. In addition to the mayor, Gerard was ordered to have no contact with the woman who saw him with the knife.

To resolve a petition for a temporary restraining order filed by Arakawa against Gerard in June 2012, Gerard agreed to a three-year injunction against harassing the mayor, according to court records.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at