Caller alleges Big Island police failed to follow tip about wanted fugitive
A Keaau man says the alleged murder of 32-year-old Rory Thompson Wick by wanted fugitive David True Seal could have been prevented if Big Island police had acted on an anonymous tip he made to Hilo Crime Stoppers on Oct. 2.
“I just felt ripped off. No way else to explain it,” said Jun Mantupar. “I mean I thought my phone call would've of had some kind of repercussions for his being out in the public
Mantupar, 33, says he was taken aback when he found out Nov. 5 that Seal had been arrested for allegedly stabbing Wick, 32, on the lot they shared at the Eden Roc subdivision in Puna. Seal was wanted for escaping from the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe on Dec. 3, 2009. In 2002, Seal was acquitted by reason of insanity for the kidnap and attempted rape of an 8-year-old girl on Maui.
A father of four, Mantupar said his immediate thoughts turned to Wick’s three young children.
“I can't imagine what his kids are going through right now,” said Mantupar. “They lost the chance to learn so much from their dad, and now all they're going to have are memories of him and stories from other people.”
Mantupar provided KITV4 a cell phone screen shot of the call he made to Hilo Crime Stoppers Oct. 2 as well as AT&T phone records. The records show two calls placed back-to-back, one to Honolulu Crime Stoppers followed by another call to Hilo Crime Stoppers. The calls were placed at 2:26 p.m. and 2:27 p.m. respectively. Mantupar said he called Honolulu Crime Stoppers first because that’s where he first noticed Seal’s picture.
“I told them I was calling out of Hilo, so they told me it had to be taken care of by the Hilo division,” said Mantupar. “They gave me the Hilo Crime Stoppers number, (and) I called them immediately after that.”
During the call to Hilo Crime Stoppers, Mantupar spoke to a woman who did not appear to be taking notes.
“Basically they asked me who I was, (and) what fugitive I was reporting or calling about,” said Mantupar. “So, I told them it was David True Seal.”
Mantupar recognized Seal from a news feed that linked to the Honolulu Crime Stoppers website. Seal had been studying kendo at the Waiakea Recreation Center in Hilo where Mantupar’s son was taking aikido classes every Wednesday evening.
Complicating the issue, two Big Island police officers were in the same Kendo class with Seal, who was using the alias Serif Swaim.
“The police officers we have in the club, they’re pretty new here, so they didn’t know (Seal) the entire two years that he was here,” said John Akagi, chief instructor for the Kobukan Kendo Club.
When contacted by KITV4 about Mantupar’s phone call to Hilo Crime Stoppers, Capt. Robert Wagner said the Hawaii County Police Department had no record of the call being placed. After KITV4 requested all Hilo Crime Stoppers records from Oct. 2, the police department stated records could not be released. Assistant Police Chief Henry Tavares cited two state statutes that allow an agency to withhold information if it relates to a criminal investigation, or would jeopardize a person’s personal privacy.
Timothy Hall, Wick’s stepfather, issued a brief statement to KITV4 noting his frustration and anger with the county’s police department. According to Wagner, Crime Stoppers falls under the department’s Criminal Investigations Division.
“We're on our own as far as our safety on this island," said Hall.
Mantupar hopes that by coming forward, the process of reporting a wanted fugitive will improve.
"I want to make a difference,” Mantupar told KITV4. “I mean if this is a good way to do it, I would like to make a difference."
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