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Police investigating death during Kona arrest (update No. 2) 04-15-14
Hawaiʻi Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area II
Lieutenant Gerald Wike
Phone: 326-4646, ext. 266
The final results of an autopsy conducted Wednesday (February 5) on the body of 39-year-old Randall Hatori of Kailua-Kona concluded that the cause of death was cardio-respiratory arrest due to the combined effects of high levels of methamphetamine in his blood, an enlarged heart and a physical struggle.
According to Dr. Lindsey Harle, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy, the stress of these three factors likely caused a cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, that led to his death.
Dr. Harle said the autopsy showed minor injuries on the body of Hatori and that, while an electronic control device was used during the confrontation, it did not play a role in his death.
At 12:30 a.m. on February 4, a Kona Patrol officer made a traffic stop at a gas station in a shopping center on Palani Road. The driver, 38-year-old Ernest Ricky Alvarez of Kailua-Kona, was arrested on a $10,000 bench warrant for contempt of court.
Hatori, who was a passenger and was wanted for assault and violating temporary restraining orders, fled on foot.
The officer pursued Hatori on foot and a struggle ensued while trying to apprehend him. Initially unable to restrain Hatori, the officer deployed his conducted electric weapon (commonly known as a “Taser”) in an attempt to subdue him. Hatori continued to actively resist arrest and the struggle continued. Other officers responded to the scene and assisted in restraining Hatori. After Hatori was placed in handcuffs, he became unresponsive.
Fire Department EMTs on scene attempted resuscitation and then transported him to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m.
Detectives recovered 7.3 grams of methamphetamine at the scene of the struggle.
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