POSTED: 09:42 a.m. HST, Feb 20, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 09:38 p.m. HST, Feb 20, 2013
An Oahu Community Correctional Center prisoner awaiting trial on second-degree murder charges was captured on Waimanu Street in Kakaako just before 7:30 tonight, about 12 hours after he escaped from custody while being transported to Circuit Court.
The Department of Public Safety identified the escapee as Teddy Munet, who was being held in connection with the 2012 death of William Fallau.
Honolulu Police Department units responded to a 911 call around 7:20 p.m. in front of 1133 Waimanu Street, a condominium complex, and arrested him without incident, HPD said.
Munet — who is 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes — escaped at the court building in Kakaako at 8:05 a.m. He was in the custody of OCCC officers who were supposed to transfer him to state sheriffs at the court where he was scheduled for a pre-trial hearing, said HPD spokesman Maj. Richard Robinson.
About 25 plainclothes officers and uniformed patrols combed the downtown area searching for Munet this morning, Robinson said. He confirmed that there had been reported sightings of Munet at Kakaako Park and an attempted carjacking near the Circuit Court building shortly after he escaped.
"He's a very dangerous suspect," Robinson said, noting that Munet may have been able to free himself from his handcuffs and belly chain in the hours after his escape.
DPS officials said Munet was wearing black shorts and a black "hoodie" sweatshirt, which he may have used to conceal his handcuffs and belly chains.
HPD said Munet has a series of tattoos on his body including a skull wearing a baseball cap covering the entire left side of his neck, a large marijuana leave across his chest, the word "GRAMZ" across his stomach and what appears to be a full-back Hawaiian warrior helmet on his back.
State Public Safety Director Ted Sakai said Munet should have been in leg shackles but was not.
Four vans arrived in the prisoner unloading area and each van contained two corrections officers, Sakai said. The van Munet was in had eight inmates.
SCHOOLS PUT ON LOCKDOWN» KCCA Muriel Preschool
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» Central Middle School
» St. Andrew's Priory School
» Stepping Stones Academy
» Kawaiaha'o Church School
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» Early Education Center of Seagull Schools
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» Lincoln Elementary School
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» First Chinese Church of Christ preschool
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Schools put on standby / precautionary lockdown
“It was pretty heavy load this morning,” Sakai said. “As they were unloading the vans, one of the inmates bolted and escaped.”
Munet ran up the ramp and to Reed Lane heading in the Diamond Head direction, Sakai said. One of the corrections officer gave chase but Munet had a head start and the officer could not catch up, he said.
Munet was being held in Oahu Community Correctional Center on $1 million bail. He is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and three firearms counts.
Hikers found Fallau's body July 19 at the Kawainui State Park Reserve. He had been shot in the back of his neck.
Munet's attorney, Edward Harada of the state public defender's office, said today's hearing was on a routine motion asking for police records related to the case.
Harada said Munet pleaded not guilty and intends to take the case to trial, which is set for April.
Harada told The Associated Press that has not changed despite the escape.
"Of course, he has to be apprehended and we'll take it from there," Harada said.
More than 20 schools and pre-schools in the area went into lockdown after the escape.
At KCAA Muriel Preschool, center director Cora Gibo said lunch was served to students in their classrooms.
"We notified parents and assured them we are in lockdown and we're in a safe situation," Gibo said.
By 1:30 p.m., most locked down campuses allowed students to leave when school ended.
A lockdown was lifted around 1 p.m. at Maryknoll School, where students were released to parents. For students who walk or catch a bus home, school officials were getting permission from parents before letting those students leave the Makiki campus.
At Montessori Community School in Makiki, students were allowed to leave when school let out at 2:30, but the campus avoided "a broad release of students" as a precaution, according to a school official. After-school programs remained on lockdown.
A Department of Education spokeswoman said most public-school students at locked down campuses were allowed to leave when school let out at 1:30.
Star-Advertiser reporters Gregg Kakesako, Gordon Y.K. Pang, Nanea Kalani, Craig Gima, Radley Kanda and the Associated Press contributed to this story.