Hawaii island police have charged a 19-year-old man after he allegedly stole a car and nearly struck two patrol vehicles in a high-speed pursuit in Hilo Friday.
Jonathan Kealoha Gardner of Hilo made his initial court appearance before Judge Bruce Larson at South Hilo District Court Monday after he was charged Sunday with auto theft, first-degree attempted assault of a law enforcement officer, three counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, one count of resisting arrest, reckless driving and driving without a license.
His aggregate bail is set at $77,010.
Police said an officer of the Traffic Enforcement Unit spotted a white 2013 Nissan Altima on Apapane Road near the intersection of Keokea Loop at about 7:35 p.m. Friday.
The vehicle was reported stolen from the parking lot of the Waiakea Villas condominium complex on Hualani Street at about noon that day. Police responded to several reports of sightings of the stolen vehicle around Hilo.
The police officer saw a male later identified as Gardner in the driver’s seat of the stolen sedan and a female standing outside near the trunk. The age of the female is unknown.
The officer exited the patrol vehicle when Gardner allegedly accelerated toward him, forcing the officer to jump into his vehicle to avoid being hit, according to court documents.
Gardner ran a stop sign and sped off.
Shortly after, officers spotted the stolen vehicle in a grassy area on the west end of King Avenue with Gardner in the driver’s seat. Police said he sped toward officers, nearly hitting two patrol vehicles.
Police pursued him to a dead end on the east side of King Avenue where Gardner jumped out of the stolen vehicle while it was still in motion. The car came to a stop when it crashed into some bushes.
Police said Gardner ran across several residential lots and jumped over multiple fences before officers apprehended him on Andrews Avenue.
Neither the officers nor Gardner sustained any injuries.
The female who was standing near the trunk of the stolen sedan told police Gardner told her he borrowed the car from his aunt. After they went to several locations around Hilo, Gardner allegedly started driving recklessly. She told police she did not feel safe and wanted to be dropped off.
When Gardner stopped on Apapane Road, she told police she attempted to retrieve her bag from the trunk when an officer approached the stolen vehicle.