Suspect charged with attempted murder 03-02-04

PHONE: 961-2252
MARCH 2, 2004


Police have arrested and charged a 33-year-old Hilo man with attempted murder after he allegedly ran down another man Sunday morning (February 29, 2004) near Malama Park.

The suspect was identified as Eric Kauaina Kai, of a Pilipaa Street address. Kai was charged at 3:45 p.m. Monday with second-degree attempted murder and is being held in the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Responding to an 8 a.m. call Sunday, South Hilo patrol officers arrived to find a male lying on the ground on Mamaki Street near Malama Park. The victim suffered injuries to his head and elsewhere. He was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he is now reported in good condition.

According to witnesses at the scene, the victim was running west on Mamaki Street, then left the road and ran into some heavy brush. The victim then ran back onto the road, when a car heading in the same direction accelerated and struck the victim from behind, trapping him underneath.

Witnesses said the driver got out and tried to lift the car off the victim. Unable to do so, he got help from the driver of a light-colored pickup truck, which pushed the car off the victim. Both vehicles then sped from the scene.

The victim was later able to identify Kai as the driver of the car that struck him, and Kai turned himself in to police at 2:15 p.m. Sunday.

East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Section detectives are looking for the car used in the murder attempt, described as an older model brown four-door sedan with a lighter-colored brown right rear door. They are asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of the car or who witnessed the incident to call Detective Jason Cortez of the East Hawaii CIS at 961-2381 or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

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