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Ex-Big Isle police officer indicted in bicyclist’s death

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  • STAR-ADVERTISER / MAY 2012

    Then-Honolulu police officer Jody Buddemeyer placed a candle on a memorial honoring fallen HPD officers during the 2012 Honolulu Police Department Police Week Memorial Service in May 2012 at the State Capitol rotunda. Hawaii County police say Buddemeyer was on duty last year while driving in South Kohala when he hit Jeffrey Surnow of West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

HILO » A former officer with the Hawaii Police Department has been indicted for negligent homicide, evidence tampering and making a false report after allegedly hitting and killing a bicyclist from Michigan with his car.

Jody Buddemeyer was on duty last year while driving in South Kohala when the vehicle he was driving struck avid bicyclist Jeffrey Surnow of West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, police said.

Firefighters found Surnow, a real estate developer, lying face-down near a severely damaged bike. The fire department called it a hit-and-run.

Buddemeyer was later terminated from the department for removing evidence from a crime scene and providing false information after being in a traffic collision, according to an annual police misconduct report provided to state lawmakers.

A warrant was issued for Buddemeyer’s arrest and his bail was set at $10,000, Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth told Hawaii Tribune-Herald .

The Hilo newspaper asked Roth why it took so long to charge Buddemeyer.

“With these cases, oftentimes there’s forensic evidence and oftentimes cases go back and forth between the police and the prosecutors,” Roth said. “Prosecutors are asking for further evidence and things like that.”

Buddemeyer couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. It’s not clear if he has an attorney.

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  • I’d hope this guy would get the maximum punishment allowed by law but I’m pretty sure that won’t be the case. After all it was just an “accident” right? What bothers me most is the abuse of authority. Just hope this lowlife weasel doesn’t show up in another police department somewhere in the country.

    • If he was a high ranking officer and a “nice guy”, he’ll probably get probation and community service like the Mililani retired officer who killed a jogger.

    • The collision with the bicycle is only a portion of the bad situation. Isn’t this the accident where the officer at first said he’d come upon the accident [“hit and run”] instead of fessing up that he had hit the bicycle himself?

      [West Hawaii Today: “Police did not provide details on when the accident occurred, only that Buddemeyer reported the crash at 6:25 a.m. Sunday. The Hawaii County Fire Department, in a prepared statement released Sunday morning, described the incident as an apparent hit-and-run.”]

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