HILO, Hawaii – More arrests in another, different situation involving vehicles and guns on Haihai Street in Hilo.
Police say two Hilo men are in police custody following a Saturday incident in which a pickup truck (driven by two acquaintances of the suspects) was allegedly driven off the road by a Honda sedan. Police say the two suspects also threatened the victims with a handgun, twice.
According to the Hawaii County Police media release, issued on Thursday July 25:
|The first confrontation was on Kilauea Avenue south of Kawailani Street. The second was on Haihai Street at the intersection of Laula Road.
The driver of the truck, a 26-year-old Pepeʻekeo man, and his passenger, a 25-year-old Hilo man were not injured during the encounter.
On Monday at 10:30 a.m., detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section arrested the car’s driver, 25-year-old Hiram Kawelu III of Hilo. At 1:50 p.m. Monday, they arrested the passenger, 34-year-old Albert Espaniola Jr. of Hilo. Both men were held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation.
At 10:25 a.m. Wednesday, after conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Kawelu with second-degree reckless endangering, promoting a dangerous drug, driving with a revoked license and reckless driving. His bail was set at $13,000. Espaniola was charged with two counts of terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $20,000.
Both men remain in the cellblock pending their initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday (July 25).
On Monday night, a few days after the incident on Saturday afternoon, officers responded to several reports that gunshots had been fired from a car traveling east on Haihai Street between Heahea Street and Kinoʻole Avenue. That is the same stretch where one of the two confrontations occurred during Saturday’s incident. Police located the vehicle and arrested three men and two 16-year-old boys. The juveniles were released to their parents pending further investigation. One of the adults, 22-year-old Alfred Fuller IV of Hilo, was later charged with first-degree reckless endangering, place to keep a loaded firearm and place to keep ammunition.
The stretch of Haihai Street that has been making headlines this week borders the Hilo Municipal Golf Course to the north, and a neighborhood to the south. Haihai serves as a connector between Waiakea Uka and Kilauea Avenue. It is a relatively narrow road with very little shoulder and an imposing draining ditch on one side. It is also common to hear speeding vehicles on the road at any hour of the day.
Police did not say if there was a connection between the two gun-toting road incidents.