Suspect Arrested After Ramming Police Car 03-04-01

PHONE: 961-2252
MARCH 4, 2001


Police have arrested a 32-year-old Keaau man for attempted murder and other offenses after he ran over two curbs and a medial strip and ended on top of the patrol car of a Hilo patrol officer in downtown Hilo.

The suspect, identified as John Akio Daffron, is being held in the Hilo police cellblock pending further investigation.

The incident began at 2:26 a.m. Sunday (March 4, 2001) when Hilo Patrol Officer Jason Grouns observed suspicious activity at the Hilo bus terminal from his patrol car parked in the parking lot near Cafe Pesto.

The officer saw a Toyota four-wheel drive with oversized wheels at the terminal rev its engine and accelerate at a high rate of speed toward him. The vehicle climbed the curb of the bus terminal and sidewalk, crossed the Hamakua-bound lanes of Kamehameha Avenue, ran over the medial strip, crossed the Keaukaha-bound lanes of Kamehameha and struck the police car head-on, stopping atop the car with Officer Grouns inside. The officer escaped injury in the collision, although his vehicle was extensively damaged.

When the suspect got out of his vehicle, a second officer arrested him for first-degree attempted murder, having an illegal place to keep firearms, promoting dangerous drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Inside Daffron’s vehicle, the arresting officer found a handgun, what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” and a pipe.

Police said they have information that a car matching Daffron’s vehicle — a blue Toyota four-wheel drive lifted off the ground with oversized tires and having tinted windows — was trying to run cars off the road on Saturday and Sunday nights. They ask that anyone who was a victim of such an attempt to call Detective Richard Miyamoto of the Hilo Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2379 or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

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