Man sent to state hospital in pellet gun case

WAILUKU – A homeless man has been sent to the Hawaii State Hospital after he was found mentally unfit to proceed in a court case alleging he fired a pellet rifle at golfers and police officers at the Maui Country Club last year.

The March 12 ruling of unfitness for Alan Engling, 59, followed supplemental examinations of the defendant by a psychologist and psychiatrist, according to court records.

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen ordered the additional examinations at the request of the defense and over an objection by the prosecution. In ruling that Engling was mentally unfit, Bissen found that Engling posed a risk of harm to himself or others.

Proceedings in his case were suspended while he is being treated at the state hospital.

Engling has pleaded not guilty to 20 charges, including felony assault, terroristic threatening and assault on a law enforcement officer, in connection with pellet rifle shootings April 17 and 21 at the golf course in Spreckelsville.

In the first incident, Dr. John Mills was shot in his right thumb while golfing on the 8th hole. Engling was arrested April 21 following more alleged shootings after golfers converged on his campsite in nearby kiawe brush.

Seven golfers reported being shot at, including Paia resident Paul Peters, who was hit in his upper right arm. Police said that one officer responding to the 12:24 p.m. report was shot in the chest while wearing a bulletproof vest. Another officer was shot at before officers subdued Engling, police said.

In September, Engling had been found fit to proceed based on reports from three psychologists or psychiatrists who examined him. One of the three had found Engling was mentally unfit, according to his attorney.

A hearing to review Engling’s mental fitness is scheduled for June 4.