The early morning hours of Sunday, June 26, 2005 were pretty rough for Maui County Liquor Control Officer Harry Matsuura. He was working the Westside bars, but it was hardly a usual night. Around 2:20 a.m., he arrived at Hecocks in Lahaina. Then all hell broke loose.
Matsuura was there to conduct a routine “closing check”—a routine inspection designed to make sure a liquor licensee is not operating past 2 a.m.—Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Temas told the Board of Adjudication during its July 6 hearing. At 2:21 a.m., Temas told the board, Matsuura heard noises inside the restaurant. So he made “further inspection efforts” by peeking through a side window.
What Matsuura saw, Temas told the board, were “disturbing facts.”
Disturbing facts? I sat up straight. Just how disturbing? Sex on the bar? Satanic rituals? With my hand trembling over my notepad, I listened as Temas told the board that through the window, Matsuura “clearly observed” four males and a female “carrying on” and “drinking mixed drinks.”
Disturbing indeed. So Matsuura did what any LCO—indeed, what any of us—would do if confronted with something so “disturbing.” He called the cops.
With one police officer acting as backup, Matsuura banged on the front door. Once let inside—and following a harrowing search through the darkened restaurant in which he had “concern over his personal safety”—Matsuura and the officer found all the individuals and their drinks.
Owner Tom Hecocks tried to blame the whole thing on his manager—who was one of the individuals—but the board didn’t buy it. “Who was responsible for training her?” board vice chairperson Marilyn Chapman asked him.
“Me,” he said.
“Nothing further,” she said.
Temas asked for $6,000 in fines, with $4,250 suspending pending good behavior. The board sentenced Hecocks to a 15-day suspension and $4,000 in fines, suspending five days and $3,250.