Spitting defendant gets 6 months in jail

WAILUKU — A woman who spit on one security officer and scratched another when she was stopped with stolen merchandise was sentenced Friday to a six-month jail term.

Alicia Sinenci, 30, also was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service as part of four years’ probation.

“Not too many kind of mammals or animals spit — camels, llamas . . . ,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said in imposing the sentence. “Now we have a new breed of spitters called the spitting Sinenci.”

Sinenci, who gave no local address, had pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery, second-degree criminal trespassing and two counts of fourth-degree theft.

She was arrested at 12:45 p.m. July 24 after a clerk alerted Macy’s loss-prevention officers about suspicious behavior by Sinenci, who had been issued a trespassing citation several months earlier, said Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas. He said Sinenci was seen going into a fitting room and employees could hear zippers opening and closing before she left the fitting room, which was empty after she left.

Loss-prevention officers followed Sinenci as she left the Macy’s men’s store without paying for nine T-shirts that she had stuffed in a backpack, Temas said. He said the backpack was one of two stolen from the Victoria’s Secret store at the mall.

Sinenci ran up the escalator to try to escape a loss-prevention officer, Temas said. When she was stopped, “she doesn’t surrender,” he said.

“She starts screaming, she’s spitting and she’s actively resisting,” Temas said.

He said Sinenci dug her nails into one loss-prevention officer’s arm and spit at a loss-prevention manager.

Arriving police officers saw Sinenci’s disruptive behavior, as well as spit the size of silver dollars on the manager, Temas said.

Sinenci was heard saying, “Let me go. Stop treating me like an animal.”

“You were acting like an animal,” Judge Loo told Sinenci.

“You know what we do with wild animals,” Loo said. “We cage them up. We put them in jail.”

She noted that Sinenci was released on supervision Oct. 26 when she changed her pleas in the case. She didn’t show up to be interviewed for a report prepared for her sentencing and didn’t stay in contact with the Maui Intake Service Center after October, Loo said.

As a result, Sinenci was arrested in December.

Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae said Sinenci “completely squandered” the opportunity when she had been released.

“This is a young person who’s struggling with drugs,” he said. “What she’s asking the court to do is give her a second chance.”

While following a plea agreement in sentencing Sinenci, Judge Loo said it was sad that someone with a limited criminal record was facing 10 years in prison if she doesn’t comply with court requirements.

As part of her probation, Sinenci was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.

She was ordered to pay fines totaling $658, representing twice the value of the merchandise that she shoplifted.

Sinenci was ordered not enter Macy’s or Victoria’s Secret without authorization from her probation officer. She was given credit for nearly five months she has spent in jail.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.