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7.30.21 Two Officers Honored by Aloha Exchange Club for Tracking Down Violent Suspect Wanted in Two States

Hawai‘i Police Department
Hilo Patrol
Captain Sandor Finkey
Phone: (808) 961-2214

Media Release

An officer and her new recruit trainee were recently honored for their investigation that led to the arrest of a violent suspect who had previously fled two states to avoid prosecution for similar crimes.

Officers Lisa Ebesugawa and Recruit Officer Sean Tyler Kepoo were recognized by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i as Officers of the Month for April 2021 during a ceremony at Hilo Police Station on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

In April, Officers Ebesugawa and Kepoo responded to Hilo Medical Center for a report of a 75-year-old woman who was hospitalized with facial fractures and multiple injuries as a result of an assault in the early morning hours in the parking lot of a sports bar in Hilo. Working methodically, the officers tracked down video surveillance footage of the incident, identified and interviewed witnesses, and positively identified a suspect.  

The suspect fled the island and travelled to Oahu before he could be arrested. Using skills she had developed as a member of the Special Enforcement Unit, Officer Ebesugawa gathered crucial information that the suspect was possibly in the Waikiki area. She prepared an arrest warrant and coordinated with the US Marshals Service and the Honolulu Police Department, who located and arrested the suspect in Waikiki. The suspect was extradited back to Hawai‘i Island where he was charged with assault offenses with bond set at $100,000.

Further investigation determined that the suspect was wanted in Florida and Michigan for similar felony charges when he fled both those states to avoid apprehension. Through the dedicated efforts of Officers Ebesugawa and Kepoo, the suspect was apprehended, arrested, and charged. Although still a recruit trainee, Officer Kepoo was commended for his hard work and great compassion in keeping the victim’s family continually updated on the investigation.

Every month the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i honors a police officer in East Hawaii as their officer of the month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the various police districts and a monthly winner is selected. Winners are normally honored at the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i’s monthly meeting, however, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, no meetings have been held since March 2020. Instead, representatives present the awards to the officers at their respective stations.

All officers selected for Officer of the Month are eligible to be selected as the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i’s Officer of the Year.