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Thursday, August 15, 2019
Ebbtide Waikiki: Fullard-Leo Family Fights Pimps for Control of Hotel (literally)
By Andrew Walden @ 6:16 PM :: 4433 Views :: Development, Law Enforcement, Police, Tourism, Drugs

Image result for ebbtide hotel waikiki 

Waikiki at ebb tide.

by Andrew Walden

The latest step in a seven-year battle to regain control of their property after expiration of a ground lease, Marcus Fullard-Leo, whose family owns the ground under the rundown Ebbtide Hotel in Waikiki, and many other Hawaii properties, filed the following ‘declaration’ in case 1CC121003090 on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. 

Five days later, convicted pimp Quadralis Watson, who, according to the HPD blotter, was living at a Kuhio Ave address next door to Ebbtide, was arrested for a Manoa armed robbery in a vehicle driven by former death-row inmate Isaiah McCoy, who was brought to Hawaii by UH Law School professor Ken Lawson.  In addition, a female, also living at the same Kuhio Ave address, was pulled from the vehicle and arrested after allegedly being caught using a credit card stolen during the Manoa robbery.

Here are some excerpts from the declaration, describing events at the Ebbtide Hotel from June 24, 2019 up to a July 22, 2019 'melee' between members of the Fullard-Leo family and 20 pimps and drug dealers:

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I, MARCUS FULLARD-LEO, hereby declare as follows:

1. I am the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Executive Officer and President of F-L Management, Inc., an Oregon corporation, the manager of Plaintiff Ebbtide, LLC, a manager managed entity, and in that position have knowledge of the matters below.

3. Since Defendant Hawaiian Ebbtide Hotel, Inc. ("HEH''), filed its Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on February 25, 2019, Ebbtide LLC has not been able to collect any rent from the property that is the subject of this lawsuit, located at 159 Kaiulani Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii ("Property"). The rent and payment of real property taxes that would have been due under the lease with HEH that now has been terminated would have exceeded $140,000 as of August 1, 2019. By having been deprived of the use of the Property during that period, the Plaintiff has been damaged at least by that sum.

4. Based upon information and belief as entity manager acting on behalf of Ebbtide, F-L Management, Inc.'s employees' initial investigation of the Property following the entry of the Final Judgment on June 24, 2019, found that:

(i) a number of residential units at the Property had been left with their doors open and unlocked and appearing to have been abandoned, and other units with unlocked doors appear to have been abandoned;

(ii) some person or persons have been collecting rent monies in cash from residential tenants or short term visitors at the property and from the commercial tenants with the monies being turned over to unknown persons or entities some of whom may be prior HEH owners, but some who are not;

(iii) the Plaintiff has attempted to make sure that anyone claiming to have paid for a tenancy is credited with whatever length of stay the person represents having paid for, with any later tenancy to be worked out directly with the Plaintiff;

(iv) the Plaintiff has begun discussing with the commercial tenants their future occupancy at the Property;

(v) after Ebbtide's employees posted two notices, males later identified as working for Marc Kumai were collecting money to which they are no longer entitled and seemed to have been locking up abandoned units in an attempt to maintain control of the units;

(vi) F-L Management's employee went to secure an abandoned unit and were going to screw a latch on a door to secure it shut with a padlock when a large male appeared and blocked the unit to prevent the employee from locking it;

(vii) Ebbtide began working to have security at the Property in order to make sure that Ebbtide's employees are safe and not intimidated when they try to do their job;

(viii) Ebbtide's intention is not to damage the occupants but instead to obtain possession in order to prevent the unauthorized parties from converting funds to which they are not entitled and to remove any bad elements creating an environment of fear and intimidation at the property thereby preventing other occupants from peaceably enjoying any tenancies;

(viii) Ebbtide has obtained from the Deputy Corporation Counsel who advises the City and County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting ("DPP"), the direct email contact information for the individuals in DPP with whom Ebbitde will work in remedying any code requirements and deficiencies at the Property.

5. I flew one of the managers that works for me, Tom Kloss, from Oregon to Honolulu to canvas the Property and meet with the residential occupants and distribute informational notices regarding the end of the ground lease and requesting that if they desired to remain at the Ebbtide as a hotel guest that they register with the hotel staff we have engaged at a nearby property, the Stay Hotel. Tom distributed the attached notice on July 15, 2019 (Exhibit "A") either hand delivering it or posting it on every non-retail door - 30 total guest units on the second, third and fourth floors. In distributing the notices, a large man blocked Tom's way in an intimidating  manner. There were many other people there looking at Tom in a disturbing manner. Tom could see these people tearing down the posted notices from the doors which he had just taped up as he was walking back to the Stay Hotel from the Ebbtide. While distributing the notices, Tom knocked on every door but only a few people answered their doors. In such cases where he had the opportunity, Tom explained that the ground lease had terminated and gave them a notice stating it explained the situation and that they should call our office. He also explained that we were not looking at displacing anyone but were working toward getting them to register as hotel guests with the Ebbtide LLC's (Property Owner's) hotel manager.

6. No one registered by the end of the next day as requested in the July 15, 2019 notice.  Tom returned to the mainland the next day on July 16, 2019.

7. On July 17, 2019, at my direction, Vanessa Cortes, an assistant manager with the Honolulu based hotel management group Hotelco HI HO LLC, with which Ebbtide is affiliated through common ownership, and which is based in the Stay Hotel just a few buildings away from the Property, posted or hand delivered (as the case might be) a July 17, 2019 hotel guest notice on each of the second, third and fourth floor doors of the Ebbtide. See Exhibit "B." She also posted or delivered a different but similar July 17, 2019 notice with each of the retail tenants on the ground floor. See Exhibit "C." Vanessa was accompanied by the Hotel management company's head maintenance man, Gary Carter, and another one of his staff. Based on earlier observations of Tom, it was suspected several of the units at the Ebbtide may have been abandoned. At my instruction, Vanessa knocked on each of the doors and tried each of the doorknobs in an attempt to determine if there were abandoned units. She did find an unlocked vacant unit and upon seeing no substantial possessions in it indicating that it was inhabited she entered to look around and take pictures and confirm that it was abandoned. She observed a few items of personal property but those items had little to no value and were scattered in an unkempt manner appearing to have been left behind. On leaving the unit she instructed the maintenance man to secure and lock the abandoned unit, but she was confronted by a large man who blocked the door preventing the unit from being secured. During the confrontation she was told she needed to leave the Property and contact his boss Mark Kumai despite her attempted explanations that she was there representing the Property Owner trying to determine which units were not being occupied and posting the notices. She asked the man if he lived in the hotel unit to which he replied that he was living in units 401, 402, 403, which had also been suspected of being abandoned. Vanessa reported this to me by telephone on the day of the occurrence at which time I also asked her to send me a brief email with her pictures and a short summary of the unit information she had obtained. Attached as Exhibit "F" is the email with photos Vanessa sent me in response to my request.

8. Following the July 17, 2019, notice to hotel guests and the corresponding notice to retail tenants, several people from the Property called my office in Oregon as requested by the notice and spoke to Brandi Martin who is my assigned administrator for the Property, and working out of our Oregon office. Many retail tenants told Ms. Martin that they had been paying rent to Mr. Kumai. None has paid Ebbtide LLC. Ms. Martin also spoke to a long-term guest in one of the hotel units who also said that he paid someone other than Ebbtide LLC to stay there. Ms. Martin told him that the only party that had a right to collect money from the property was the property owner, Ebbtide LLC. She requested that the man register to stay as a hotel guest at the hotel with Ebbtide LLC by visiting the Stay Hotel and they would take his reservation, which he did. However, he expressed concern for his safety the next time he was asked to pay someone else who came to his door. Ms. Martin told him that if someone came to his door asking them to pay someone other than the property owner, Ebbtide LLC, that he should call her and put her on with those attempting to improperly collect revenue from his stay at the hotel.

9. On Monday, July 22, 2019, concerned that Ebbtide LLC had received only one hotel guest registration and that it still had received no money from any of the hotel guest usage or from the retail tenants and that several people had reported paying parties other than Ebbtide LLC rents despite the notices that had been posted and with reports of occupants being intimidated and taken advantage of, I flew from my offices in Oregon to Honolulu to interact with the Property directly and explain to the guests and tenants the situation. I was accompanied by my brother, Matthew Fullard-Leo, who is a Vice President of our Company, my son, Timothy Fullard-Leo, who works in our Information Technology department, Charles Hattaway ("Charlie"), who works for us with construction special projects. After arriving in the afternoon, we discretely looked over the Property, walking through its parking lot and determining the best way to set up a registration table the next day in the parking lot on the ground floor where we could talk to hotel guests and ask them to register with us. There were at least five people on the floors staring at us and in our opinion, there was some very suspicious activity occurring.

10. On Tuesday, July 22, 2019, at my instruction, Timothy Fullard-Leo and William Fullard-Leo, who works for the hotel management company, went to set up cameras to monitor the concerning activity at the Property. In our lay opinion, the activity we observed appeared to be organized drug and prostitution activity.

11. While Timothy and William were setting up the cameras on our affiliated property adjacent to the Ebbtide, I, Matthew, Charlie, and three security officers from Phoenix Security went into the parking lot area of the Ebbtide Hotel, secured the parking gate, and set up a registration table in the entrance into the parking area, a tunnel-like area through the ground floor of the Property back to the parking area. We chose this location because the pedestrian hotel guest traffic coming into and out of the Property had to pass by this location and we believed that it would give us the best opportunity to communicate with people coming into and out of the Property and to determine if those persons entering the Property were indeed guests in a unit or whether they actually had any legitimate business at the Property. Also, we had previously witnessed small items being dropped from the building to where this area was (we assumed drugs) in exchange for something else (we assumed money). This tunnel-like area is generally shielded from view.  Simultaneously we posted another notice to hotel guests explaining the situation (see Exhibit "D"), as well as no trespassing signs indicating that the Property was reserved for registered hotel guests only. See Exhibit "E."

12. As soon as we began this work, fairly animated men approached us and wanted to know what we were doing there. Soon someone who identified himself as building security approached us and demanded that we vacate our location and open the gate. We offered that if any cars wanted to leave the parking lot that we would open the gate when they were ready to leave but that we were there to determine who was entering onto the Property and to start registering guests. The man who had identified himself as security continued cursing and yelling at us. I asked him who he was and who he worked for. He refused to answer me and said he would not tell me and just kept cursing and actually verbally threatening that I was going to have problems. Following this other people started to enter into the parking area from the building and from the surrounding areas. The Phoenix security personnel with us called the police. The aggressive people, apparently under the control and direction of the unidentified man who was yelling at me, ultimately numbered about 20 men and had at least one knife with a nine to twelve inch blade and there were also at least three baseball bats being wielded around. 

13. Before the police arrived two of the aggressors hopped over the security wall trespassing onto our affiliate's adjacent building and climbing up onto the third story roof of that adjacent building where Timothy Fullard-Leo and William Fullard-Leo were placing security cameras. A third man was throwing full unused aluminum juice cans from unit 310 located in the Ebbtide Hotel at Timothy and William while they worked on the third-story roof of the adjacent Property. One of those juice cans hit William in the head and bounced into Timothy, knocking both Timothy and William to the ground. William later had to go to the emergency room because of the head injury. At about the same time, the two aggressors who had hopped the security wall and climbed onto the roof were yelling at the already assaulted Timothy and William on the roof while simultaneously grabbing a cinderblock which was on the roof and smashing all of the cameras. They ordered William and Timothy from the roof and the two complied, leaving the roof. Timothy was the last to leave the roof and when climbing down the ladder, one of the aggressors (still on the roof) threw a bundled 50-foot extension cord at Timothy hitting him in the head and knocking him from the ladder. Timothy and William fled to the nearby Stay Hotel. 

14. Ten to fifteen police officers finally arrived at the Ebbtide Hotel, outnumbered by the group of aggressors. Over the next hour, the police calmed the aggressors some of whom continued to walk around with their bats even in the presence of the officers. As matters calmed, the police told us they would be leaving soon and suggested they could not protect us in our effort to secure the common areas of the building and to talk to people who might be entering or leaving the Property. In fact the police told us we should leave because one possible outcome was that we might be killed if we remained at our Property. The police told me that this Property was well known to them as a troubled property and they desired to have it cleaned up. The police officer who appeared to be in charge recommended to me that instead of allowing anyone to stay in the Property that I seek an order to evict every person there and completely vacate the Property and start over. He did not see any other way to safely secure the premises.

15. Under fear for the safety of my staff and myself, we have not returned to the Property since the July 22, 2019 melee. Following the melee, people we saw during the melee have discretely been walking through the hotel lobby of our affiliated hotel, the Stay Hotel. At another of our affiliated operations, the Stay Condos which are adjacent to the Ebbtide Hotel and which is the building on which the cameras were being set up, our guest have been disturbed by every door being knocked on loudly in the middle of the night on multiple occasions. Further, at the Stay Condos, yard debris from a papaya tree located at the Ebbtide Hotel has been thrown over the wall into the courtyard of the Stay Condos. During this time a hotel guest at the Stay Condos requested to be let out of that person's registered stay because of that person's concern for safety.

16. Some of the events of the July 22, 2019, melee were captured on the cameras that were being set up before they were destroyed. Timothy also captured video on his smart phone, which was in his shirt pocket and recording when the men came onto the roof of the adjacent building where he and William had been located….

17. There were a number of police reports made for assault and property damage, which are recorded under Police Report number 19-276904 by the initial officer who took the reports, identified as Officer Huang, Badge Number 354, of the Waikiki Police Sub-Station….

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