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Autopsy results released for Kailua-Kona man who died in custody

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:45 a.m. HST, Apr 16, 2014

An autopsy conducted on a man who died while being taken in custody in February, concluded that the death was caused by cardio-respiratory arrest due to the combined effects of high levels of methamphetamine, an enlarged heart and a physical struggle, Hawaii County Police said Tuesday.

Randall Hatori, 39, of Kailua-Kona, died on Feb. 4 following a struggle with officers trying to arrest him.

Dr. Lindsey Harle, the forensic pathologist who conducted an autopsy on Feb. 5, said the stress of these three factors likely caused a cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, that led to Hatori's death, police said in a news release.

Dr. Harle said the autopsy showed minor injuries on the body of Hatori and that, while a Taser was used during the confrontation, it did not play a role in his death.

Hatori fled after a traffic stop at a gas station on Palani Road at 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 4.

Hatori, who was a passenger and wanted for assault and violating temporary restraining orders, fled on foot from the car.

An officer pursued Hatori on foot and a struggle ensued. The officer used a Taser, but Hatori continued to resist arrest, police said. Other officers assisted in restraining Hatori. After Hatori was handcuffed, he became unresponsive, police said.

Emergency Medical Technicians attempted resuscitation and Hatori was taken to the to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m.

Police said detectives recovered 7.3 grams of methamphetamine at the scene of the struggle. 

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