Saturday, March 2, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, March 17, 2023
Honolulu police officers charged over car chase
By Court House News @ 5:50 PM :: 1889 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics, Police

Hawaii police officers charged over car chase

The charges come 18 months after the officers ran a car off the road and abandoned the driver with brain injuries and a 14-year-old boy that was left partially paralyzed by the crash, according to prosecutors.

by Candace Cheung, Court House News, March 17, 2023

(CN) — Four Hawaii Police Department Officers have been charged for their involvement — or rather their lack of involvement — in a September 2021 car crash on Oahu that injured six people, two of them severely.

The Department of the Prosecuting Attorney filed felony charges against the officers on Thursday, 19 months after the incident. Prosecutors say the officers chased down a vehicle without using their police cars' lights or sirens, and then leaving the injured behind without helping.

Officer Joshua Nahulu. who prosecutors say was the nearest to the vehicle when it crashed, faces the harshest charge — causing a collision involving death or serious injury, a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Officers Erik Smith, Jake Ryan Bartolome and Robert Gus Lewis III face a charge of hindering prosecution, a Class C felony, and misdemeanor conspiracy to hinder prosecution.

According to charging documents, the four officers responded to a noise complaint at a beach park in West Oahu around 3:30 a.m. The officers followed a white sedan out from the park onto Farrington Highway, where they pursued the car at high speeds without employing either sirens or blue lights at any time during the pursuit as required.

The vehicle later crashed on the side of road and five out of six passengers were ejected. All six sustained some level of injury, with the driver suffering a traumatic brain injury. A 14-year-old passenger was initially paralyzed from the waist down.

Prosecutors say the officers then left the scene without rendering aid, and instead met at a nearby school parking lot where they conspired to fake reports that portrayed the crash as a single car incident. The officers later returned to the crash site after dispatch notified them there had been a massive car collision. According to court documents, they then “comported [themselves] as if [they] had no prior knowledge of the facts that gave rise to the collision.”

Prosecutors also say Smith, Bartolome and Lewis later submitted police reports about the incident that merely indicated that they had responded to the event, without acknowledging their presence during the crash.

An investigation, including video from security cameras that captured the chase, and news reports of the crash eventually revealed that the extent of the four officers' involvement.

“Three of the officers had their police powers removed following the crash, and the fourth officer’s police powers will also be restricted. Along with the collision investigation, an internal administrative investigation was initiated and remains open," acting Hawaii Police Chief Keith Horikawa said in a statement.

Thursday’s charges only revolve around injuries to the driver of the sedan, who sued the officers in April 2022. The charges do not address the 14-year-old boy who had been partially paralyzed by the crash, who sued the officers a week after the crash.

---30---

AP: Honolulu police officers charged after alleged crash coverup 

HNN: Four HPD officers charged with felonies for alleged illegal police chase, failing to render aid after crash

KITV: 4 HPD officers charged with felonies in connection to 2021 car crash in Makaha

SA: 4 HPD officers charged in Makaha crash that left teen paralyzed

CB: HPD Officers Charged With Felony Offenses Over Makaha Crash 

HNN: Critics: Charges against officers in near-fatal police chase are too lenient

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT