My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Monday, October 28, 2002

Something in common


Here, HPD investigators quickly determined, was how it all came down: Someone -- it could have been an attorney or possibly someone inside the Department of Corrections -- had alerted friends of Isaac Kunia that he was being transported from HPD to OCCC. But somehow, at the last minute, a switch was made and Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka took Kunia's place in the police van.

When the van, traveling ewa on Beretania, pulled into the intersection with Punchbowl, an older-model blue Bronco traveling mauka intentionally ran a red light and crashed into the van, impacting the driver's door. The van toppled over, five prisoners escaped through the broken back window.

A sixth lay incapacitated in the van, probably had the wind knocked out of him when the other five landed on top of him. A dark blue SUV swooped in, two men jumped out, dragged the sixth prisoner from the van and shoved him into the SUV. The driver of the blue Bronco also jumped into the SUV.

It happened so fast, nobody got a license plate or make for the blue SUV, other than it was "big." Well, that narrowed things down, didn't it?

Likewise, all they knew was that the SUV then headed mauka on Punchbowl toward the freeway. But which direction? Which exit?

And what would they do with the senator?

>> H-1, ewa-bound

The dark blue SUV took the Halawa exit and parked near the rec center. The occupants, five armed men and the guy who was not Isaac Kunia, exited the SUV and piled into two waiting vehicles -- recently stolen, both -- joining their two drivers. One was a late-model Honda. Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka, still handcuffed, ended up in the back of a Nissan van with new-car paper license plates.

"Do you know who I am?" the senator asked the guy who'd been riding shotgun in the SUV and appeared to be the leader.

"Why? You somebody?"

The senator knew there were people who didn't follow politics -- voter turnout proved that -- but he seldom met them. This group obviously didn't watch a lot of news. "You really don't recognize me?"

"Only that you could pass for Isaac's twin."

That's when the senator figured it out. Isaac Kunia had also been arrested on drug charges, but for "promoting."

"So you guys're into drugs, huh? Cool. That's one thing we have in common. Whadda you got with you?"

The senator was pleased to see the boys had some buds and some ice.

"Hey, this is my lucky day," he said. "Who's got the pipe?"

By the time they took the H-2, the senator had a buzz going.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be e-mailed at

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