WAILUKU - After stargazing at Polipoli State Park earlier this month, a 19-year-old Kula man reported being assaulted and threatened by a group of young people who threw beer cans at his friend's car.
Martin Stubbs said the confrontation occurred at about 1:25 a.m. Aug. 13 as he and a 19-year-old woman were leaving the remote Kula park, which is usually deserted at that time. About 25 minutes earlier, on the way into the park, Stubbs said they drove through a party of about 50 people gathered around cars in private cow pastures below the park. Some people banged on the windows of his friend's Volkswagen bug, trying to make them to stop. "We just kept driving," he said.
On the way down, some males at the party were waiting, Stubbs said.
"One guy runs at our car, hits full force and goes flying over the top," he said. "He rolls off. This infuriates the crowd."
Stubbs said people threw beer cans at the car and smashed windows.
The car door was opened and people threatened to kill him, Stubbs said, and used racial slurs. "They try to pull me out," he said. "My friend guns the car."
Shaken and injured after shattered glass hit his eye, Stubbs said, his friend drove to Kula Lodge to call police and report what happened. His eye was swollen shut and later turned black and blue, he said.
Based on descriptions from Stubbs and his friend, patrol officers stopped two vehicles about a half-hour after the incident was reported at 2:08 a.m. Officers identified an adult as a possible suspect for the damage to the car and also documented cases of curfew violations and underage drinking.
Stubbs couldn't say how he was injured, and he and his friend couldn't provide clear descriptions of who was responsible for the reported assault, according to police. No arrests were made.
Stubbs said those at the party, most of them males, appeared to be intoxicated. "They were acting really rowdy, that's for sure," he said.
"Me and my friends go up there all the time to look at the stars. It's mostly deserted," said Stubbs, who left Maui last week to start his sophomore year at Humboldt State University in California. "We just wanted to warn the public about it. It's not a very safe place."
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.