Lovell is accused of chasing down scuba diver Rene Umberger in waters off the Kona Coast in May “with the intent to terrorize, or in reckless disregard of the risk of terrorizing another person. He did threaten by word or conduct to cause bodily injury,” according to the complaint found in online court records. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for next month in the Kona District Court.
Rene Umberger – an opponent of aquarium fish collecting – and another diver filmed the incident, which took place while she and a group of divers were filming Lovell as he collected fish to sell for aquariums. In the video, Lovell is seen swimming towards Umberger before yanking her regulator out of her mouth.
Asked for her comment, Umberger stated, “It’s an appropriate charge.”
Umberger reported to Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement officers that Lovell pulled her scuba regulator out of her mouth while she was 50 feet below the surface. In May, Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth told West Hawaii Today that an assault charge would be unlikely, because Umberger was not injured in the incident.
Lovell’s brother, Jim Lovell, who also collects reef fish in West Hawaii, was surprised Umberger hadn’t been charged as well.
Read our original story: Dive-Rage: Scuba assault off Kona caught on camera