BY JIM DOOLEY – A former police officer with a Peeping Tom track record is at it again, according to allegations filed this month in court.
Without admitting wrongdoing, Craig Clissold agreed Sept. 15 to have no contact for three years with neighbors who accused him of peering into their windows at night.
Neighbor Robert Tinsley believes police have given Clissold special treatment because he is a retired cop. Tinsley had previously complained to HPD about Clissold’s behavior and then caught him in his yard the night of September 3, peeping into a window, according to court records.
Clissold, 69, told officers he was “looking for his cat” and wasn’t arrested.
Clissold’s wife, Adriane, said her husband could not discuss the case and stressed that no allegations were proven against her husband.
Tinsley said he is “furious” about how authorities have handled the matter.
One neighbor reported to Tinsley that she had repeatedly seen Clissold in Tinsley’s yard. The retired police officer was charged with the same type of behavior on the same quiet street in Hawaii Kai 10 years ago,Tinsley pointed out.
Clissold pleaded no-contest to a misdemeanor invasion of privacy charge in 2001 after police caught him in another neighbor’s yard.
The victim in the 2001 case, a flight attendant, accused Clissold of repeatedly peeping into her bedroom window at night.
His lawyer said at the time that Clissold was undergoing therapy for an “adjustment disorder,” according to a news account. The court ordered him to complete a mental health evaluation and perform 200 hours of community service.
Clissold was allowed to keep his badge and gun and the misdemeanor charge was erased from his record in 2002 after he completed a year of probationary supervision.
Clissold retired from the HPD in 2002. He was a lieutenant at the time of retirement and had been on the force for 30 years.
Clissold and his wife have held a license to operate a child care business in their Hawaii Kai home since 1983.
They are authorized to care for up to six children at a time. The Department of Human Services, which issues child care licenses, said it conducts annual criminal history checks of its licensees and neither of the Clissolds has a record that would disqualify them from child care work, the department said.
In late May or early June of this year, a neighbor who walks her dog at night along Kalanipuu Street in Hawaii Kai reportedly saw Clissold “rapidly exit” the driveway of Tinsley’s home and quickly cross the street to his own house.
Tinsley had recently moved into the rental home with his wife and two young sons.
The same neighbor said she saw Clissold on the Tinsley’s property four more times over the next two months. He always wore black shorts and a black t-shirt and the lights were always off at the Tinsleys’ house, the neighbor said in a written statement Sept. 12.
The woman, who asked not to be identified by name, said she didn’t know the Tinsleys or Clissold and debated what to do or say about what she had observed.
Then on July 30th, the woman and her spouse encountered Clissold coming out of the Tinsley’s property around 10 in the evening.
“We were startled by the same man as he stepped out to the edge of the driveway almost right into us,” the statement said.
The next day, the neighbor introduced herself to the Tinsleys, told them about Clissold’s behavior and gave them a copy of a 2001 news story about Clissold’s criminal case.
Tinsley called the police that evening and was told by the responding officers that if the Tinsleys saw Clissold in their yard, he would be arrested.
“If you see him in your yard, we’ll arrest him for trespassing,” Tinsley said the officers told him.
At around 11 p.m. on the evening of September 3, Tinsley said, he saw Clissold standing in Tinsley’s yard, staring through a window as Tinsley watched television.
Tinsley ran outside, confronted Clissold, and called the police, he said.
At least four officers eventually responded to Tinsley’s house, including a “shift commander” who knew Clissold and “was calling him Craig,” Tinsley said.
Clissold was not arrested after telling police he had been “looking for his cat” in Tinsley’s driveway.
Tinsley said that after he filled out paperwork for a restraining order against Tinsley and took it to police for legal service on Clissold, an officer at the Hawaii Kai station told him, “I know Craig. He’s harmless.”
Clissold was served with the paperwork a week later, according to Tinsley.
Clissold appeared at a District Court hearing Sept. 15 and agreed to a three-year injunction that prohibits him from having any contact with Tinsley or his family.
The injunction also bars Clissold from owning or possessing any firearms.
Tinsley is very unhappy with Clissold and the police.
“I think my wife and children have a right to feel safe in our home,” he said.
“My family is terrified. Every time a leaf falls from a tree outside, my wife thinks he’s out there, watching us,” said Tinsley.
“I’ve written letters to the mayor and contacted the police but I haven’t heard anything back,” he said.
He said he called the Internal Affairs Division of HPD to complain about the lack of action by officers, but missed a return call when he was away on a brief business trip.
“I’m going to write them a follow-up letter,” he said.
HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu said the department would respond to Tinsley after he contacts Internal Affairs.
In his Sept. 9 letter to Mayor Peter Carlisle, Tinsley said the police “made me and my wife feel like the bad guys.”
He said he runs a multi-million dollar business that continues to grow and will “create additional tax revenue and additional jobs” in Hawaii.
“If I don’t feel safe in our community I’m not going to create these jobs here in Honolulu or Hawaii. I can easily create these new business units on the mainland,” Tinsley wrote.
“My belief is business should always support the local community but my expectation is the local community has to support me. When the police protect one of their own over the safety of my family, a line has to be drawn,” Tinsley’s letter said.
Carlisle spokesman Jim Fulton said the mayor has not yet seen Tinsley’s letter.