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State v. Wong

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawai'i

February 18, 2015

STATE OF HAWAI'I, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
WILLIAM WONG, Defendant-Appellant

Editorial Note:

This decision is published in table format in the Pacific and Hawai'i reporter.

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT, HONOLULU DIVISION. CASE NO. 1P1120006489.

On the briefs: Andrew T. Park, (Urbanc Willard Park & Kim, LLLC), for Defendant-Appellant.

Brandon H. Ito, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

By: Fujise, Presiding Judge, Leonard and Ginoza, JJ.

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

Defendant-Appellant William Wong (Wong) appeals from the Notice of Entry of Judgment and/or Order, filed on October 1, 2012, in the District Court of the First Circuit, Honolulu Division (district court).[1] After a bench trial, the district court found Wong guilty of disorderly conduct as a petty misdemeanor, pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 711-1101(1) (a) and (3) (2014).[2]

On appeal, Wong argues that there was insufficient evidence to support a conviction for disorderly conduct either as a petty misdemeanor or a violation. Upon careful review of the record and the briefs submitted by the parties and having given due consideration to the arguments advanced and the issues raised by the parties, as well as the relevant statutory and case law, we resolve Wong's appeal as follows.

We review the sufficiency of evidence on appeal as follows:
[E]vidence adduced in the trial court must be considered in the strongest light for the prosecution when the appellate court passes on the legal sufficiency of such evidence to support a conviction; the same standard applies whether the case was before a judge or jury. The test on appeal is not whether guilt is established beyond a reasonable doubt, but whether there was substantial evidence to support the conclusion of the trier of fact.
State v. Richie, 88 Hawai'i 19, 33, 960 P.2d 1227, 1241 (1998) (quoting State v. Quitog. 85 Hawai'i 128, 145, 938 P.2d 559, 576 (1997)). " 'Substantial evidence as to every material element of the offense charged is credible evidence which is of sufficient quality and probative value to enable a person of reasonable caution to support a conclusion.'" Id. (citation omitted).

State v. Kalaola, 124 Hawai'i 43, 49, 237 P.3d 1109, 1115 (2010).

At trial, Officer Albert Lee (Officer Lee) testified that on May 25, 2012, at a little after 2 a.m., he was on patrol in a commercial and light industrial area, mainly comprised of Ala Moana Center, bars, businesses and an apartment building. While stopped at a traffic light on Kapiolani Boulevard, he heard two loud thumping noises and people shouting. Officer Lee looked toward the intersection of Mahukona Street and Kona Street, the location from which the thumping sounds had come, and he saw a vehicle alarm going off. Three men (the men), including Wong, were standing about two feet away from the vehicle, shouting and yelling, and looking at the vehicle.

Officer Lee turned onto Mahukona Street and drove through the intersection of Mahukona and Kona Streets, where he saw a hotel security guard approach the men. The men walked slowly away from the security guard while swearing and yelling at the security guard and " carrying on." Officer Lee testified that the guard had his hands up and was telling the men to stop. Officer Lee later acknowledged that the security guard's back was to him, but it " looked like he was telling them enough already, just go ...


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