Driver arrested after high speed pursuit 12-02-02

PHONE: 326-4208
DECEMBER 2, 2002


A 36-year-old suspect led police on a high speed pursuit from Alii Drive in North Kona through South Kona and Ka’u before he was finally stopped and arrested early Monday (December 2, 2002).

The driver, identified as James Willis, of no permanent address, is being held in the Kona police cellblock pending further investigation.

Police said the pursuit began at 1:04 a.m. on Alii Drive in North Kona when a patrol officer found the driver asleep at the wheel of a running vehicle. The officer recognized the driver as possibly being someone with an outstanding bench warrant. Upon being awakened, the driver disregarded the officer’s orders to turn off the engine and instead sped away.

At times during the pursuit, speeds exceeded 90 miles per hour. The driver was seen throwing items out of the window, and at times, he drove down the centerline with his lights off, forcing oncoming traffic off the road.

The car was pursued north on Alii Drive and then south on Kuakini and Mamalahoa Highway (Route 11). The driver got as far south as the Green Sands subdivision in Ka’u and then turned north where he sped through Hawaiian Ocean View Estates before heading north back into the Kona District.

He was finally stopped at 3 a.m. at about the 88-mile marker at Honomalino and taken into custody.

Taking part in the pursuit were officers from the Kona Patrol District, Ka’u Patrol District and Traffic Enforcement Unit.

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