Driver Charged With Attempted Murder 07/19/00

PHONE: 326-4203
JULY 9, 2000


Kona police have charged a 20-year-old man with attempted murder and a variety of other offenses for driving his truck head-on into a moped, critically injuring the rider.

At 8:15 p.m., Kona Criminal Investigation Section detectives charged Aaron Morgan, of Kailua-Kona, with three counts of second-degree attempted murder and one count each of first-degree terroristic threatening, reckless driving, causing an accident involving death or serious bodily injury, driving in the wrong lane and making an illegal U-turn.

Morgan is being held in the Kona police cellblock in lieu of $63,100 bail.

He and his passenger were arrested Tuesday minutes after the collision in which Robert Manuel, 23, of Kailua-Kona, was critically injured. As of Wednesday night, the victim remained in critical condition at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu.

Responding to a 12:58 a.m. call Tuesday, police determined that three moped riders were traveling east on Henry Street when a 1988 Mazda 4×4 pickup truck with two occupants saw the moped riders behind them, made a U-turn, came back toward them in the wrong lane and struck Manuel’s moped head-on.

The truck then sped away from the scene. It was stopped a few minutes later by police officers who arrested the Morgan and his male passenger, 21, also of Kailua-Kona. The passenger was released Wednesday pending further investigation.

After being struck by the truck, Manuel was taken to the Kona Community Hospital and later flown to Honolulu.

Police said the suspects, moped riders and two other men had been involved in an earlier confrontation.

Later, the two suspects were driving east on Henry Road when they saw the three moped riders behind them, made an abrupt U-turn, drove straight at them and struck Manuel’s moped head-on.

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