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Man who waved rifle in street gets jail time, probation

WAILUKU – A man who “drank too much” at his wife’s birthday party and was seen waving a rifle in the street was sentenced to a 10-day jail term as part of four years’ probation.

“This is not a game. You could have hurt somebody. You could have hurt yourself,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said in sentencing Joefry Go, 43, of Kahului. “Next time you play this kind of dangerous game, you will go directly to jail. You do not pass go.

“Enough with the Monopoly, this is not a game. Remember that next time, you will go directly to jail.”

Loo followed a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution in imposing the sentence Feb. 17.

Go had pleaded no contest to prohibited possession of a firearm, prohibited possession of firearm ammunition and keeping an unloaded firearm in an improper place. Other charges were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.

At the family party the night of July 24, Go got into an argument with a friend, then got angry at his wife and threw his cellphone at her, said Deputy Prosecutor Carson Tani.

“And then it just escalated from there,” he said.

He said Go got his wife’s firearm and “went into the street, started waving the firearm around.”

The firearm was unloaded, Tani said, but neighbors and those at the party didn’t know that and were scared.

Defense attorney William Sloper commended police officers who responded to the scene.

“They de-escalated the situation very, very quickly in a nonviolent manner,” Sloper said, and got Go to put down the gun.

Sloper said the plea agreement was fair.

“It seems heartfelt that he does get the fact that he did commit a crime and he’s very remorseful for it,” Sloper said.

Judge Loo noted that Go had consumed 10 to 12 shots of whiskey that night.

“I think you drank too much,” she told Go. “Apparently, your friends were just trying to get your upstairs to put you to bed. For whatever reason, you got mad at them.”

Go said his cellphone accidentally hit his wife’s forehead, requiring her to go to the hospital for treatment.

When others living on the property and those at the party saw what was happening, “they were very concerned and scared about your behavior,” Loo told Go.

“When you have a drunk person with a gun, it’s scary,” she said. “I’m glad the police got involved and nobody got hurt.”

As part of his probation, Go was ordered to complete anger management and to perform 200 hours of community service.

He was ordered to write letters apologizing to his wife and others.

The AR-15 rifle was forfeited to the state.

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

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