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Man accused of driving into Maui runners released

    Rustyn Pajimola-Aiu

WAILUKU >> A 22-year-old man was arrested and charged with drunk driving after plowing into a group of people at the start of the Maui Marathon.

Rustyn Pajimola-Aiu, 22, was arrested after driving an Acura sedan into a crowd waiting for the race to begin Sunday morning. He hit a man and dragged him about 30 feet, police said.

That man, Donnie Cortez, told Hawaii News Now that he wasn’t scared when he flew onto the hood of the car and was dragged and doesn’t think Pajimola-Aiu was out to kill him.

“I think he’s just drunk or whatever he may be, crazy too much or maybe drugs because he didn’t know where he was going,” Cortez said.

Cortez was treated at the scene and said he has minor pain in his legs.

Dustin Cabanilla, who was pounding a Tahitian drum at the time, told Hawaii News Now that he had to jump out of the car’s path. “It was coming straight toward me, and I just jumped out of the way and at the same time … he basically ran my drum and chair over,” he said.

Pajimola-Aiu should face additional charges, Cabanilla said. “I do think he should be charged with more than just DUI because that’s just an unexplained reckless move,” he said.

Pajimola-Aiu, who posted $1,200 bail, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday. It wasn’t clear if he had an attorney.

Race Director Rudy Huber told the Maui News that Pajimola-Aiu had an emotionless “zombie look” while driving. “He was just starting out into nothing,” Huber said.

Organizers of the annual event will learn from the incident, Huber said. The sedan went through a coned-off security checkpoint to reach the crowd, with security guards having to jump out of the way, Huber said.

“We’re very fortunate nothing worse happened,” he said. “We’re going to be a little bit more cautious next year and put a little more things in place so this doesn’t happen again.”

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