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Police open attempted murder case after car hits building

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 12:02 a.m. HST, Jan 27, 2011

A motorist allegedly sped for several blocks of South Beretania Street with her ex-boyfriend on top of her car before crashing into the side of a building this morning.

The man, 44, was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition. But he has since been downgraded to critical condition, according to Maj. Richard Robinson, head of the Honolulu Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division.

The woman, 46, was in a hospital with serious injuries.

The woman had a restraining order filed against the ex-boyfriend on Monday, police said. "The Honolulu Police Department made an attempt to serve the TRO. They were unsuccessful in locating him and serving him," Robinson said.

The incident began in the parking lot of the Beretania branch of Times Super Market shortly before 9 a.m. The vehicle left the parking lot with the man on top of it, but it's not clear if he was on it when the car began moving, Robinson said.

With the man on the roof, the car made its way Ewa-bound on Beretania, crossing all five through-lanes in the process, crossed Ward Avenue and then smashed into a side service entry door on the mauka side of the First Insurance Building.

The two appeared to be boyfriend and girlfriend and residents of urban Honolulu, Robinson said.

Originally labeled as an attempted murder case against the woman, the investigation is "likely to be reclassified" based on newer information obtained by police, he said. He declined to provide further specifics.

"Both of them are still in the hospital so we haven't had a chance to speak to either one of them to clarify what took place," he said.

Lupe Funaki, a clerk at the Circle K convenience store across Beretania from the scene, said she saw the man on top of the car as it sped across Ward and crashed into the building.

It appeared the man was pinned between the building and the car, Funaki said.

"He was trying to stop her," said Funaki, who described the scene as frightening.

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