Hawaii island police arrested a 55-year-old man after he circumvented a traffic checkpoint and crashed his vehicle into a hardened lava flow that had crossed Highway 132.
At about 10:30 p.m. Thursday a man drove up to a police checkpoint at the intersection of Highway 137 (Beach Road) and Highway 132, otherwise known as “Four Corners.” He identified himself as a resident of an area known as “Cinder Land” nearby and demanded passage to drive up Highway 132 to view the lava.
He was instructed to turn around. About an hour later another resident brought the man back to the checkpoint with lacerations and injuries to his head and face. The man, a Government Beach Road resident, told police he had smashed his pickup truck into some lava. Officers found the man’s 1993 Toyota pickup with front-end damage near the 5-mile marker of Highway 132 (about two miles above “Four Corners”).
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Officers detected signs of intoxication and subsequently arrested the man for suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of intoxicants. He was also cited for loitering and refusing to leave a designated evacuation zone, in addition to failing to wear his seat belt.
The man, who was admitted to Hilo Medical Center, was released pending further investigation on the OVUII charge.
Man charged with first-degree robbery
An Opihikao man faces multiple charges for his alleged role in robbing two men as they were photographing the ongoing Kilauea eruption Wednesday.
According to police, the victims, a 29-year-old Opihikao man and a 37-year-old man from California, were on Kamaili Road in Lower Puna around 10:45 p.m. when they were approached by the suspect and another man and robbed of their belongings at gunpoint.
On Friday police charged Edward Wilson, 50, of Opihikao with two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree theft as well as single counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony and criminal property damage in the second and fourth degrees. The initial theft charge was upgraded to a Class B felony due to the incident having occurred within an area covered by an emergency declaration. Wilson remains in police custody in lieu of $42,250 bail. His initial court appearance is set for Monday in Puna District Court.