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Musician suspected of DUI, hitting police car

By Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 10:15 a.m. HST, Jun 29, 2011

A 22-year-old ukulele recording artist was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of an intoxicant early Sunday morning after allegedly crashing into a blue-and-white police car in Waikiki.

Taimane Gardner, discovered at age 13 by Don Ho, allegedly broadsided the police car, driven by a 36-year-old female officer who was taken to the Queen's Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and released, police said.

Police arrested Gardner at 3 a.m. and released her at 4:45 a.m. after she posted $500 bail.

Police Capt. Andrew Lum said the officer was responding to a call and had the red light when she came to the intersection of Kuhio Avenue and Nohonani Street with her blue lights and siren on.

The officer "slowed almost to a complete stop" and proceeded into the intersection when she was broadsided at 2:21 a.m. by Gardner's vehicle, Lum said.

Lum said he did not have information on whether Gardner is suspected of speeding.

A few hours before the accident, around 11 p.m. Saturday, Gardner was performing at the Waikiki Sandbox, according to her Facebook page.

She also performed earlier that evening at University of Hawaii's Orvis Auditorium at a poetry and music event, "Rhyme & Reason." Alcohol was not served.

Gardner could not be reached yesterday.

Ho discovered Gardner after hearing about her playing on the streets of Waikiki to raise money for the homeless, and she became a featured performer on his show at age 14, her website says.

Gardner, who plays music ranging from classic rock to flamenco to classical, has performed at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and has opened for Chicago, Jimmy Buffett and Cecilio & Kapono.

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