Suspect in truck theft chased through three police districts 05-22-02

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
KONA PATROL
SERGEANT BRADLEY K. MAIN
PHONE: 326-4208
MAY 22, 2002
H-08407

MEDIA RELEASE

A suspect driving a stolen truck led Big Island police officers and national park rangers on a chase from Puna to Kona Wednesday (May 22, 2002) before he overturned the vehicle and could be arrested.

The suspect, Louis Alani III, 24, was arrested for 22 offenses, including auto theft in Puna; 10 traffic violations in Ka’u; two felony assaults, attempted felony assault and eight more traffic violations in Kona.

After being treated for minor injuries at the Kona Community Hospital, Alani was being held in the Kona police cellblock. The case has been turned over to Kona Criminal Investigation Section detectives.

The chase started about 10:40 a.m. when Puna patrol officers received a report that a 1995 Ford Ranger parked at about the 10-mile marker of Hawaii Belt Road (Route 11) had been stolen by an unknown male.

Minutes later, the stolen truck was seen traveling through the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the highway. Park rangers tried to stop the vehicle, but the suspect continued toward the Ka’u District at a high rate of speed.

As the truck entered the Ka’u District, Ka’u patrol officers took over the pursuit, which continued through the district at speeds sometimes reaching more than 100 miles an hour. When the suspect reached the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, he turned off the highway and led police through subdivision roads before turning back onto the highway.

As the truck crossed into the Kona District, a Kona patrol officer took over the pursuit. As the pursuit continued north, the suspect suddenly slowed the truck, then reversed it twice into the police officer’s vehicle.

The suspect then continued driving north on the highway until he turned off onto Kaohe Road near the Kona Paradise area. He drove up the unimproved road about one mile, and then turned back down towards the highway. About a half-mile from the highway, the suspect lost control of the truck, which struck an embankment and then rolled onto its side.

After wrecking the vehicle, the suspect fled on foot into the bushes. He was later spotted hear the highway, where he was arrested by Kona police and taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

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