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Officer: Suspect pulled out knife after man stared at him

Judge finds there’s probable cause for charge of terroristic threatening in case

WAILUKU — A suspect told police he held a knife to another man’s throat after confronting him in a Molokai store, a police officer has testified.

Camaran Schelinski, 44, of Maunaloa made the statement after he was arrested Nov. 7, said Molokai patrol officer Andrew Szczepan.

He said Schelinski reported going to Maunaloa General Store that morning to buy a lighter when he saw Nicholas Keoho, who works at the store. Schelinski reported having previous encounters with Keoho, Szczepan said.

“He said he was staring at him, so he went up to him and took the knife out and put it up to Keoho’s throat and said,

‘F— off,’ ” Szczepan said.

He testified at a preliminary hearing Nov. 13 in Wailuku District Court for Schelinski, who was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening of Keoho.

Police were called to the store at 10:35 a.m. Nov. 7. On his way to the store, Szczepan said he was diverted when he heard his beat partner report he had made a traffic stop on Schelinski near the entrance to Homelani Cemetery.

In his right front pocket, Schelinski had a folding knife and a pill bottle containing two plastic packets with suspected crystal methamphetamine weighing 0.11 gram, Szczepan said.

In a search of Schelinski’s car, police found a butcher knife on the driver’s side floorboard, a plastic bag with suspected marijuana and a silver box cutter, Szczepan said.

Detective Kyle Bishaw-Juario, who also testified at the preliminary hearing, said Keoho reported that he had tried to ignore Schelinski in the store before he “flipped open the blade” and “thrust” the knife toward Keoho, who flinched. Then Keoho reported being punched in the face by Schelinski while he held the knife, Bishaw-Juario said.

He said a subpoena had been issued for Keoho but wasn’t served on him to appear at the preliminary hearing.

In finding probable cause for the first-degree terroristic threatening charge, Judge Blaine Kobayashi said he wasn’t considering the detective’s testimony about what Keoho said. Kobayashi said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support a finding that Keoho was unavailable to testify.

“However, the defendant in this case, the court finds, made statements after being advised of his constitutional rights,” Kobayashi said. “The court, through those statements, does find that the state produced sufficient evidence to find probable cause.”

He also found probable cause for the charge of third-degree promoting of a dangerous drug.

Schelinski is also charged with third-degree assault, harassment, third-degree promoting of a detrimental drug, two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, second-degree resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle and driving without a license.

Schelinski asked to be released on supervision, with Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson saying the defendant has no criminal history, has a wife and two children and has lived on Molokai for 14 years. Schelinski receives Social Security disability and volunteers to build homes with Habitat for Humanity, Stevenson said.

Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas asked that bail remain at $10,000.

He said others were in the store when Schelinski wielded the knife.

“There’s dangerousness, obviously, to Nicholas,” Temas said. “What triggered Mr. Schelinski only Mr. Schelinski knows.”

In keeping bail at $10,000, Judge Kobayashi noted that Schelinski had declined to participate in a bail study that would have provided the court with more information about him.

“I’m looking at felony charges here involving threats with a knife and methamphetamine possession,” Kobayashi said. “That’s a dangerous combination, in the court’s mind.”

Schelinski is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 27 in 2nd Circuit Court.

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