Protester alleges rough handling

KALAPAKI — A 68-year-old Lihu‘e woman protesting the Kaua‘i Renewable Energy Conference was arrested on suspicion of second-degree trespassing yesterday morning at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort.

Barbara Elmore said she stood off to the side of the conference and silently held a sign deriding the $75 registration fee and weekday scheduling, which made it difficult for working residents to attend the conference, which was publicly funded via the Economic Development Board, Office of Economic Development, United States Department of Energy and Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative.

“Reportedly, (Elmore) was causing a disturbance there and had been asked repeatedly by Marriott personnel to leave the area. Subsequent to her refusal to leave, KPD officers placed her under arrest,” Deputy Chief Mark Begley said in an e-mail message.

Elmore said that the handcuffs she was placed in were unnecessarily tight, causing “excruciating” pain and swelling and tingling in her hands and wrists.

“When they finally decided to go ahead and arrest me, they were not humane at all,” she said. “Even if I were a criminal, I would not deserve to be tortured like that. There was no consideration. It was just like they enjoyed it.”

Red marks and indentations were still visible some three hours after her 8:34 a.m. arrest.

Elmore said that she was pulled forcefully by her arms, pushed against a wall, kicked and laughed at by Kaua‘i Police Department officers and security personnel as she was removed from the premises.

“It’s not that it was embarrassing, but it was totally uncalled for,” Elmore said.

After booking at KPD headquarters, Elmore was released. She is scheduled to appear in District Court on Oct. 8, according to her citation.

“It is interesting to note that she is smiling in her booking photo, inconsistent with the allegation that she was in pain or being mistreated,” Begley said. “However, we take such allegations seriously and are looking further into the matter.”

• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or via e-mail at mlevine@kauaipubco.com

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