LIHUE — A Kapaa man was sentenced to 10 years in jail last week for breaking into the home of his former boss and hacking thousands of dollars worth of appliances and furniture to pieces with a machete because, as he explained to police, “He owes me choke ahi.”
Forrest Broyles’ former boss was watching TV with his wife on the evening of Dec. 3 when he heard a horn honking and a loud bang on the side of the house, followed moments later by yelling and screaming and the sound of the glass on his front door shattering, according to a written statement by a Kauai Police Department detective who responded to the scene.
The man looked over the second-floor banister and saw Broyles walking toward him up the stairs, carrying a machete.
“Forrest started hitting the television with the machete,” the man told police, according to a written statement by a detective who responded to the Kapaa home. “Forrest broke out all the windows, the sliding door, broke the living room stand chairs, the table, kitchen cabinets, the stove and microwave, canoe paddle among other things.”
All told, Broyles, 25, caused over $3,000 in damage, which he will have to pay restitution for after his release from prison. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail for first-degree burglary, five years for criminal property damage, another five for terroristic threatening and a year for third-degree assault.
The prison terms will run concurrently, meaning Broyles will be incarcerated for a decade at most. The burglary charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years, four months. He pleaded no contest in May to three felonies and a misdemeanor assault charge, which prosecutors reduced from attempted-murder in exchange for the plea.
According to a statement Broyles made to police who arrived on the scene, the dispute arose out of a disagreement over fish.
“He is my fishing buddy,” Broyles is quoted as saying in the detective’s report. “He owes me ahi. That is what the whole incident was about.”
Broyles went on to tell the detective that he slapped his former boss across the back with his machete but said the threats he made — the owner of the home told police that Broyles said “he was going to kill him and chop him up.” — were just an act, “because I am an orange belt and I know not to take life.”
“I am on Ayahuasca,” Broyles then told the detective, who described the powerful substance, used in ritualistic South American tribal ceremonies, as a peyote-type hallucinogenic. “You can’t charge me with any felonies because I am a Native American warrior.”
A May 8 article in The Garden Island about Broyles case got the attention of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization widely considered to be the highest profile animal rights group in the country.
About a week after the TGI article, PETA’s executive vice president, Tracy Reiman, sent a letter addressed to the director of the Hawaii Department of Public Safety and Kauai Community Correctional Center, asking that Broyles be placed on a “flesh-free diet.”
“The actions that Mr. Broyles is being incarcerated for caused his former fishing accomplice to experience fear and trauma,” Reiman wrote. “But the actions that started this whole dispute — hooking terrified animals through the mouth, dragging them into an environment in which they cannot breathe, and killing them — did the same to other sentient beings.”
It is possible that PETA’s concerns are somewhat misplaced in this instance. A 2017 Drug Enforcement Administration intelligence report lists “fish” as a slang word for two different forms of cocaine.