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Bail kept at $5,000 for brandishing sickle

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A judge kept bail at $5,000 for a man who allegedly brandished a garden sickle while threatening another man last month in a Kahului parking lot.

Elmer Lopez, 53, of Wailuku has pleaded not guilty to first-degree terroristic threatening.

During a court hearing Wednesday, he asked to have his bail reduced to $1,000.

Lopez, who had a Spanish interpreter, is a longtime Maui resident with a limited criminal record of driving offenses and failing to appear in court, said Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson. He said Lopez wouldn’t be able to afford to post bail at the $5,000 amount.

In opposing a bail reduction, Deputy Prosecutor Annalisa Bernard Lee said Lopez allegedly brandished the 4- to 5-inch garden sickle while threatening to kill the other man. “The victim felt afraid for his life,” Bernard Lee said.

She said Lopez has two convictions for failing to appear.

“Not only is he a potential danger to the community, but he also does have a history of failing to appear,” Bernard Lee said.

According to police, the victim was waiting in his vehicle in the Island Grocery Depot parking lot on Amala Place in Kahului on Oct. 6 when Lopez, who was driving a pickup truck, turned into an adjacent stall and clipped the rear bumper of the other vehicle.

Lopez went into the store before returning to the truck and getting into a confrontation with the other driver. Lopez pulled the sickle from his pocket and brandished it, according to police.

Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo kept bail for Lopez at $5,000.

“I am concerned about the allegations of violence against this other man with a garden sickle,” Loo said.

In another pending case, Lopez is charged with third-degree promoting of a dangerous drug.