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Man in ‘alcohol blackout’ put on four year’s probation

WAILUKU — A man who said he was in an “alcohol blackout” and didn’t remember cutting a man on the throat and making threats outside a Kihei bar was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service as part of four years’ probation.

Daniel Cretton, 69, had a one-year jail term suspended on the condition that he follow all requirements of his probation.

“It’s scary that you have no recollection, which means that you were so drunk,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said in imposing the sentence March 18. “That is off the charts.

“You were so intoxicated that people were trying to not let you drive because they were concerned you were going to kill somebody or kill yourself.”

Cretton had pleaded no contest to second-degree assault and second-degree terroristic threatening. Charges of first-degree terroristic threatening, disorderly conduct and driving under the influence of alcohol were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.

Cretton was arrested in the early-morning hours of July 31 after he was subdued by a security officer at Kihei Kalama Village.

At a preliminary hearing a few days later, Kalama Intermediate School special education teacher George Sports said he and former co-worker Mark Brownstead had left a bar at the complex shortly after midnight July 30 and were talking in the parking lot when they saw Cretton being thrown out of South Shore Tiki Lounge.

Sports and Brownstead were among bystanders who tried to stop Cretton from driving before he pulled out a hunting knife with a 3-inch blade and swiped it toward Brownstead, who bagan bleeding from a 3-inch slice to his neck, according to testimony.

Security officer Lysa Bucceri testified she saw Cretton waving a knife as people asked him not to drive. Cretton got into his truck and tried to shut the door when she intervened to stop him from driving off.

In court March 18, Deputy Public Defender Danielle Sears said Cretton “has been a pillar of the community” as a retired fire captain. She said he “made an obviously egregious and horrible mistake that night.”

Since then, Cretton said he has been volunteering with Na Hoaloha, an organization that helps older people.

“My grandma used to tell me happiness comes from helping other people,” he said. “I was kind of in a rut, and I wasn’t taking my grandma’s advice. A lot of good is coming out of this bad experience for me.”

When Judge Loo asked if he remembered drinking at Charley’s in Paia, then driving to the Kihei Triangle, Cretton said, “I hardly ever go there.”

As she recounted how reports described Cretton as swearing and yelling at people, he said, “I don’t remember any of this. I just remember being thrown in the back of the police car.”

In addition to drinking alcohol, Cretton said he takes prescription medication and might have had food poisoning that night.

“You put all those together, no wonder you were in such sad shape,” Judge Loo said. “But it doesn’t excuse your behavior.”

She said it appeared Cretton was “cranked.”

“That’s what you were that night — a crazy drunk who couldn’t control his actions,” she said.

Cretton was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to complete anger management treatment. He was ordered to write letters apologizing to the three victims.

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