LAIE (Hawaii News Now) - News of the hoax that the University of Notre Dame says ensnared Manti Te'o spread quickly through the football star's hometown of Laie, with virtually everyone expressing shock and disbelief.
Te'o is a hero in Laie, and so the reports of the hoax hit particularly hard.
"Really shocked because we were watching him as he was being a candidate for the Heisman Trophy," said Nita Jane Carrington, who had been sick at home but heard the news when she went out for a bite to eat. "And of course we were rooting for him."
She was rooting for Te'o, like the hundreds who had gathered at a community potluck and viewing party at Laie Park for the Heisman awards ceremony just a month ago. On that day, his supporters wore t-shirts with his jersey number, 5.
One of the organizers of that event, who knows Te'o and his family, is undeterred in her support. "Manti is still somebody that is very special to us here in the community," said Laie resident Kela Miller. "We just know that Manti will tell the truth, and we know that his family feels very badly."
There were many people in the town who didn't want to go on camera who defended Te'o against reports that insinuated that he may have had a hand in the hoax. They firmly believe that people took advantage of Te'o's good nature.
"I don't think it's right," said resident Calvin Kanoa, who said Te'o is like a nephew to him. "I think something's wrong over there. And he's a good kid. He'd never do anything like that."
"He wouldn't," said Miller. "And it's just sad that we have people like that in the world today. I really believe that Manti really felt that his girlfriend died."
Others said that they wanted to wait and see what other details emerge, and to hear from Te'o himself, before saying anything. But the residents who did talk were still behind their hometown hero.
"We're still proud of him being from our local community," said Carrington.
"We know Manti. And we know that he wouldn't do that," said Miller. "But whatever comes out of this, we still love Manti from the bottom of our hearts."
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
By H. Gilbert Welch, Special to CNN updated 8:12 AM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013Editor's note: H. Gilbert Welch is a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical PracticeMore >
I first saw the headline early Tuesday on Real Clear Politics, a political news site where I generally start my morning. It's not where I expect to see a story on breast cancer.
Monday, May 20 2013 9:26 AM EDT2013-05-20 13:26:31 GMT
South Windsor police arrested a man after a brutal beating.Police said 48-year-old Gary Wright was arrested after being accused of assaulting a woman in a bowling alley parking lot.Police said the unidentifiedMore >
South Windsor police arrested a man after a brutal beating.More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:37 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:37:33 GMT
The remains found in a wooded area in Trumbull on Friday have been identified as missing Eastern Connecticut State University student Alyssiah Wiley. Investigators said the discovery was made along QuarryMore >
State police have arrested 30-year-old Jermaine Richards, of Bridgeport, in connection with the death of missing Eastern Connecticut State University student Alyssiah WileyMore >
Monday, May 20 2013 5:11 AM EDT2013-05-20 09:11:12 GMT
Happy Saturday, Rain is on its way – as expected – but it will not hamper the entire weekend. Early this morning, there will be low clouds, fog and drizzle in many parts of Connecticut. This will haveMore >
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:43 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:43:07 GMT
Posted: May 19, 2013 4:13 PM EDT Updated: May 19, 2013 4:13 PM EDT FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) - A 21-year-old Fairfield University student from Massachusetts has died after a car crash a day before heMore >
A 21-year-old Fairfield University student from Massachusetts has died after a car crash a day before he was to graduate.More >
Thursday, May 16 2013 3:45 PM EDT2013-05-16 19:45:11 GMT
Police arrested a Toronto woman, who was trying to get into the charity polo match in Greenwich where Prince Harry was playing.According to police, Wen Qi, 36, was trying to enter the Conyers Farms PoloMore >
Police arrested a Toronto woman, who was trying to get into the charity polo match in Greenwich where Prince Harry was playing.More >