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Man placed on probation after road rage incident

Defendant stuck an airsoft rifle out of the window while moving in traffic

WAILUKU — A Lahaina man has been placed on four years’ probation for threatening occupants of another vehicle with what appeared to be a rifle in what was described as a case of road rage.

Jairus Biga, 33, was given credit for 60 days he previously spent in jail when he was sentenced Aug. 22.

“What’s sad about this case, aside from what he did, is the fact that he did it with a car full of kids,” said Deputy Prosecutor Johann Smith. “The car was full of kids and he is waving a BB gun around because of how somebody else is driving. There’s a lot better ways to handle it.

“If someone is driving badly, he can call the police. It’s really a terrible example to set for the children.”

A man and woman were in a vehicle that was Kahului-bound on Honoapiilani Highway when they noticed a Chevrolet Tahoe weaving in and out of traffic and overtaking vehicles the afternoon of Jan. 6, police said.

The victims’ vehicle was about two car lengths behind when they reported seeing the Tahoe driver stick a rifle barrel out of the driver’s side window. The victims reported being afraid for their lives, police said.

Shortly afterward, officers located the Tahoe in the old Safeway parking lot at 170 Kamehameha Ave. in Kahului and made contact with the driver, who was identified as Biga. An airsoft rifle was found near the driver’s seat, police said.

A woman and seven children also were in the vehicle, police said.

“My family was in the car,” Biga said in court. “I know I was wrong.”

He had pleaded no contest to first-degree terroristic threatening.

Noting that Biga had served time in prison for felony offenses, 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill asked why Biga had the weapon.

“Why would you take that kind of risk?” Cahill asked.

Biga said it was a BB gun that he had under the seat.

“But you know you shouldn’t have it in the car, right?” Cahill asked.

Biga said no.

“Why don’t you get a rubber band and a paper clip or something?” Cahill said. “It boggles the mind that you would take that risk.

“Don’t put yourself in this situation,” Cahill told Biga. “You just shouldn’t be doing this.”

The judge said he was following a plea agreement in sentencing Biga only because the victims had been consulted and were satisfied with the plea deal.

“If they weren’t satisfied, I would send you to prison today,” Cahill said.

According to court records, Biga has prior felony convictions for second-degree burglary, second-degree theft and unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.

“Everybody has to look at that and say how could you not have learned,” Cahill said. “It’s not worth it to you. It’s not worth it to the community, and it’s not worth it to the kids.”

As part of his probation, Biga was ordered to complete anger management treatment and to perform 100 hours of community service.

After Biga said he works as a musician, Cahill suggested that Biga play music at a school to fulfill his community service hours. “You got to give it back for free,” Cahill said.

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