Charge for threat on mayor dismissed

This is the second time count dropped against Wailuku man

The Maui News

WAILUKU – For the second time, a felony charge has been dismissed for a Wailuku man who was arrested for allegedly threatening Mayor Alan Arakawa five years ago.

The first-degree terroristic threatening charge against Austin Gerard Jr., 30, was dismissed Wednesday with prejudice, so he won’t face the charge again.

The threat was reported June 12, 2012, when a woman walking her dogs near the Kalana O Maui building employee parking lot encountered a man with a knife at about 7:35 a.m. 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.

After entering the county building, the man 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 later that morning. Because a preliminary investigation showed that 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.

Gerard was indicted on the threatening charge in December 2012, but the charge was dismissed in January 2014 because a trial for Gerard hadn’t started within six months of his indictment.

On Wednesday, the charge was dismissed for the same reason after Gerard was reindicted May 26, 2015. He had posted $10,000 bail to be released.

Deputy Public Defender William “Pill” McGrath said Gerard hadn’t been in any trouble since his initial arrest and was in mental health counseling.

“They’ve had two shots at this,” McGrath said. “It’s causing him a lot of anxiety.”

The prosecution didn’t oppose the defense request. Deputy Prosecutor Carson Tani said the statute of limitations had lapsed so the charge couldn’t be brought again.