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Police search for fleeing man who fell off Puna cliff into ocean

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Hawaii County police say a man fleeing from police went over a cliff in Puna today, and appears to have died in the ocean.

Officers responded to a 911 dropped call at 1:05 p.m. today on Beach Road in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision in lower Puna. There a man from a group of adults ran from police and headed toward the ocean where there was a 15- to 20-foot cliff.

Officers got hold of the man, who kept trying to go over the edge. The man was able to get free from their grip, and fled onto a ledge 5 to 10 feet below.

The man was swept into the ocean by a large wave that crashed against the cliff, police said.

Officers saw him face down, and not moving for an extended period of time before disappearing from view.

Hawaii County fire personnel searched for the man using a helicopter, boat and rescue watercraft.

Dtectives are continuing this investigation as a public accident.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Jesse Kerr at 961-2379 or

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