comscore Grand jury adds robbery charge to man arrested after fatal fight | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Grand jury adds robbery charge to man arrested after fatal fight

  • COURTESY HAWAII NEWS NOW

    Police chased a suspect to the Gulick Avenue overpass, where he was apprehended on Memorial Day. All westbound lanes of the H-1 Freeway were closed for nearly hour in connection with the incident.

An Oahu grand jury indicted a 19-year-old man who threatened to jump off the H-1 Gulick Avenue overpass on Memorial Day after a fight that resulted in the death of a 48-year-old man.

The grand jury charged Rimoni Pologa-Seiuli with second-degree robbery and first degree attempted assault.

His bail is set at $100,000.

The robbery charge is from an incident before Pologa-Seiuli’s fight with 48-year-old Riley Meade.

A spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office said Pologa-Seiuli approached a man at a bus stop on North School Street, near the intersection of Ahonui Street and Kamehameha IV Road and allegedly tried to take the man’s backpack, threatening to punch him if he didn’t give it up.

When the man refused to give up his backpack, prosecutors said Pologa-Seiuli walked away and confronted Meade, who was also at the bus stop.

Pologa-Seiuli was initially arrested on suspicion of murder, but was charged with the lesser offense of assault last week.

The medical examiner ruled Meade, of Kalihi, died when his heart suddenly stopped during a violent physical struggle and ruled his death a homicide. But the medical examiner also found Meade had hypertension and hardening of the arteries, which contributed to his death.

Police responded at 4:49 a.m. on May 30 to an assault at the Aloha Island Mart, 2314 N. School St.

Officer Edward Tabanera chased after Pologa-Seiuli on foot but later lost him, according to a police affidavit filed in Honolulu District Court. Other officers located the suspect, and Tabanera caught up with him on the freeway overpass.

While on the overpass, Pologa-Seiuli told Tabanera, “It’s over for me, I ain’t going back to jail.” He added, “Tell my daughter that I love her.”

After pleading with the suspect for an hour, Tabanera and other officers grabbed him and pulled him back over the railing onto the sidewalk, the affidavit said.

Also according to the affidavit, a man had waved down an officer to report that he had seen two men “throwing punches” at the convenience store. Meade appeared to retreat as Pologa-Seiuli chased him and continued to punch him, according to the affidavit.

Meade then covered himself and the teen fled, the affidavit said, and the witness saw Meade slowly walk toward the convenience store and then suddenly collapse.

A Handi-Van driver said she saw Pologa-Seiuli chase Meade in the middle of School Street, push him down and kick him in the face. Then, as Meade tried to get up and walk, the teen pushed him from behind, causing Meade to fall and hit his face on the curb, becoming motionless, the driver told police.

Comments (8)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • “his heart suddenly stopped during a violent physical struggle and ruled his death a homicide. But medical examiner also found Meade had hypertension and hardening of the arteries” — um, I’m not a lawyer or anything, but isn’t it “foreseeable” that a victim MAY have health problems that could cause him or her to die while getting beat up? Couldn’t this be “recklessly” causing the death (manslaughter)? I can see the lesser offenses ALSO being charged, but why not go for a manslaughter charge as well? Hawaii sure does love its criminals, doesn’t it?

  • They should have started chanting “Jump, Jump, Jump.” This guy wasn’t worth saving or wasting money on a trial and imprisonment.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up