WAIHEE – After a Lahaina teenager was injured seriously in a fight at a huge party last week, Maui police are asking for the public’s help in locating “rave” parties where hundreds of people gather and may be involved in illegal activities.
Police said they were called late Friday night to investigate a party at a Kohomua Street home and discovered about 200 people at the party. Portable toilets had been set up to accommodate the large crowd, police said.
“It was a very, very ugly scene,” said Capt. George Fontaine, who heads the Wailuku Patrol District.
Police said the teenager suffered head injuries. He was in stable condition at Maui Memorial Medical Center, according to a nursing supervisor.
A 24-year-old Wailuku man, suspected of injuring the teenager, was arrested, said Maui police Lt. Glenn Cuomo.
Cuomo said detectives are continuing to talk to witnesses as they investigate what happened.
Fontaine said officers from Kihei and other districts had to be called to help Wailuku officers in handling the large crowd.
Police are considering the investigation as a riot case, which can result in charges when five or more people are involved in disorderly conduct with the intention of committing a felony.
Fontaine said the fight underscores the problems associated with “rave” parties that are being held throughout the island. The parties involve hundreds of youths, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs.
He said police need the public’s help in locating such gatherings, which may be in remote areas or neighborhoods.
Anyone who sees large groups of young people congregating and suspects illegal activity should call police, he said.
Fontaine stressed that officers don’t want to stop residents from having parties to socialize, but he wants police to be alerted to events that appear out of the ordinary or illegal.
“We don’t mind coming by and checking it out to see what’s going on,” Fontaine said, adding that had police been notified, the Lahaina teen’s injuries may have been prevented.
“We could have gone out there early on and had a presence there,” Fontaine said.