I confirmed late last night East Coast time that Jay Lovell was charged earlier this week with “terroristic threatening” in a case involving an underwater confrontation between Lovell, an aquarium fish collector, and activist Rene Umberger. The confrontation occurred in May and represented the first major engagement between the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Hawaii aquarium fishery. Umberger arrived at the site of the confrontation on a vessel engaged in Sea Shepherd’s Operation Reef Defense, and Umberger was identified by a Sea Shepherd spokesperson as “a Sea Shepherd diver” at the time of the incident.
“Terroristic threatening” is defined in the Hawaii Revised Statutes (§ 707-715) as follows:
A person commits the offense of terroristic threatening if the person threatens, by word or conduct, to cause bodily injury to another person or serious damage to property of another or to commit a felony:
(1) With the intent to terrorize, or in reckless disregard of the risk of terrorizing, another person; or
(2) With intent to cause, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation.
At this time, no charges are known to have been brought against Umberger for her role in the confrontation, although this possibility had been discussed in the days following the incident.
For the background on the incident, see my feature story in CORAL Magazine.
Stay tuned for more information.