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Suspect in officer's death released

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:56 p.m. HST, Sep 15, 2011

The 20-year-old Waianae man who was arrested Tuesday in the traffic accident death of a police officer has been released from jail pending further investigation.

Police arrested James Dorsey Mancao for negligent homicide and negligent injury at the site of the accident on Farrington Highway. It is normal in traffic cases for suspects to be released from custody without being charged as the investigation continues.

Alcohol is not suspected as a factor in the accident, police have said.

Herman "Sam" Scanlan, a 14-year police veteran, was also injured in the crash and is hospitalized at Queen's Medical Center. 

Mancao is a fire support specialist with the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team. He graduated from basic training and advanced Army training schools in March.

Police said Scanlan stopped a 1997 tan Jeep Cherokee with an expired vehicle registration decal in the left Waianae-bound lane of Farrington Highway just before the Ko Olina offramp at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A pickup truck driven by Mancao hit Fontes, a police officer for six years, in the grassy median by the concrete divider on the highway, police said. One of the vehicles hit Scanlan, who was also on the grassy median. Traffic investigators said Fontes was hit in the back by the suspect's vehicle.

A memorial for Fontes is growing at the Kapolei substation. Police have warned motorists not to leave flowers at the accident scene because of the danger that someone else may be injured or killed while on the median.

At the Kapolei substation this morning, police Maj. Ray Acheta said of Fontes and Scanlan, “They gave our younger officers big brothers they could rely on.”

Fontes' death is the 41st traffic fatality on Oahu this year, compared with 40 at the same time last year. 

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copperwire9 wrote:
I suppose there may have been a good reason why the police officers didn't ask the fellow they stopped to move over to the right shoulder while they discussed his expired decal, but I can't thing what it might have been. Such a tragedy...
on September 15,2011 | 02:16PM
droid wrote:
I’m glad I’m not the only one who was thinking that. While there’s no excuse for what Mancao did, the rules of the road are that you pass a stopped vehicle on the left-hand side. By pulling over to the median instead of the right shoulder, these officers put themselves at risk of confused motorists.
on September 15,2011 | 03:56PM
kainalu wrote:
"Suspect"? Obviously, he's the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident. And "accident" would be the key word here. He has immediately passed a breathalyzer test, and voluntarily submitted to a blood test. His statement is that he fell asleep. Sometimes accidents are just that. Our condolences to the Fontes Ohana, the Molokai Community, and the Brothers in Blue.
on September 15,2011 | 03:30PM
sloturle wrote:
on September 15,2011 | 04:11PM
967972005 wrote:
I wonder why they needed five police cars, one of them being an unmarked vehicle, to stop and investigate a vehicle with an expired registration decal; and as already pointed out, why weren't they on the right shoulder.
on September 15,2011 | 06:09PM
mempachi wrote:
This was an accident that could of been avoided. Kainalu suggest accidents are just like that, but the suspect admitted he was tired and falling asleep, therfore he needs to take responsibility in why did he not pull over somewhere and get proper rest, energy drink, walk around etc. It's the same old excuse. I can make it home without any problem. Now look. So many lives scarred, including his
on September 15,2011 | 07:07PM
soundofreason wrote:
I've been waiting to bring that point up myself. I wonder also if the quantiy of cars at various locations also added to his confusion in his tired state. Citizens are constantly being told that warrants are not served or that the police can't be everywhere to do patrols but 5 have the time to do one traffic stop.
on September 15,2011 | 07:27PM
Anonymous wrote:
y dont the police ask for witness of people that passed by b4 the accident even happen as i recall coming up upon the scene b4 the accident that one of the police cars the blue and white was half on the road and half on the grass so u should ask for witness that had to go around the blue and white to avoid hitting the police car. do the right thing and ask for witness i know someone life was lost but u folks should hear from the peolpe that had seen the scene b4 the accident and not always protect ur own they could of been the one at fault to .
on September 16,2011 | 12:55AM
honokai wrote:
if u witnessed this then you might want to help out and provide information --- the reports should indicate what you saying --- additional information may be useful to both HPD and the soldier's defense if he gets charges --- justice is only as strong in our community as people are willing to make it
on September 16,2011 | 02:49AM
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