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Man arrested after slow-speed chase from downtown Honolulu to Waikiki in early morning hours

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
The modified pickup truck stolen from downtown Honolulu early this morning was eventually stopped in Waikiki after causing a major traffic jam with the forced closure of Kalakaua Avenue.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM The modified pickup truck stolen from downtown Honolulu early this morning was eventually stopped in Waikiki after causing a major traffic jam with the forced closure of Kalakaua Avenue.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Officers of HPD’s Specialized Services Division were seen at the intersection of Seaside and Kuhio avenues just before 8 a.m. where the man was detained.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Officers of HPD’s Specialized Services Division were seen at the intersection of Seaside and Kuhio avenues just before 8 a.m. where the man was detained.

Crisis intervention officers from the Honolulu Police Department assisted patrol officers in apprehending a man who exhibited erratic behavior while driving a trash-loading truck he apparently stole early this morning from Nimitz Highway.

The slow-speed pursuit, which lasted four and a half hours, ended in Waikiki when officers approached the man, who was reportedly in his 20s and combative, and removed him from the cab of the modified pickup truck just before 8 a.m.

“I commend the officers involved,” said Capt. Bert Soria of HPD’s Waikiki District. “It was a joint effort in keeping the public safe in the Waikiki District. In the end, there were no injuries and no damage to property.”

Soria said the man has a $50,000 arrest warrant originating in Kauai County, but did not disclose any other details, including the man’s exact age and where he is from.

Officers first encountered the man along Nimitz at 3:20 a.m. while he was driving the truck, which was reported stolen from the Bishop Street area. The man continued traveling toward Waikiki despite officers’ orders for him to stop.

Soria described the vehicle as a pickup truck fitted with metal prongs in the rear used to remove Dumpsters from condominiums, and that the driver ran multiple red lights and made several illegal U-turns in the downtown and Ala Moana areas before entering Waikiki.

Responding officers followed the vehicle at low speeds from just a few miles an hour to up to 25 mph, Soria said.

The driver briefly stopped in front of the Ilikai Hotel and the Waikiki police substation, and was also seen idling on Liliuokalani Avenue before HPD crisis intervention officers arrived to speak with him.

But while police attempted to set up a roadblock, the man drove around officers and headed toward Kuhio Avenue, where traffic was much heavier due to an earlier closure of Kalakaua Avenue.

That’s when HPD approached the truck and took the man into custody. He was later taken to a hospital for minor facial injuries sustained during his arrest.

Soria said police terminated the pursuit in Waikiki because there was a high number of people and traffic at the time was heavy in the area the man was heading toward.

Police this afternoon said the suspect remained hospitalized and had not yet been booked.

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