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Thursday, September 30, 2004



Former HPD
chief is injured
in accident

Michael Nakamura
suffers a broken leg in
the hit-and-run incident


Former Honolulu Police Chief Michael Nakamura was the victim of a hit-and-run driver late yesterday afternoon when he was struck in a Mililani crosswalk as he headed home on his electric wheelchair.


art
STAR-BULLETIN / MARCH 2002
Former Honolulu Police Chief Michael Nakamura is shown here on his electric wheelchair.


Nakamura was taken by ambulance to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition. He was later upgraded to stable condition with a broken leg.

The collision occurred near the intersection of Lanikuhana Avenue and Lanipaa Street, adjacent to the Town Center of Mililani, between 4:30 and 4:45 p.m. A police spokeswoman said Nakamura had been crossing Lanikuhana when he was struck.

A witness near the Long John Silver Restaurant there said she heard a "loud noise" and thought at first that someone rear-ended another car.

"I turned and saw this white car jump over the median," said Anna Coloma, a Wahiawa resident. "It was a small, white type of car with four doors. ... It stopped but then just kept on going.

"Then I saw this guy in a wheelchair on his side on the ground. ... He was really hurting bad."

The suspect in the case, who was described as a 19- to 20-year old male, turned himself in to Town Center security shortly after 6 p.m., according to an HPD spokeswoman.

Police arrested the man and recovered the vehicle, which was not registered in the suspect's name.

As of last night, the suspect was in custody at the Wahiawa Police Station, but police did not say for what offense he was arrested.

Nakamura served as Honolulu police chief for seven years, from 1990 to 1997, and was a 28-year veteran of HPD. While chief, he was credited with expanding the role of police officers within the community.

He also saw the implementation of the Automated Fingerprint Identifications System, which is managed by the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center and stores more than 180,000 criminal fingerprint records.

Nakamura stepped down as chief partly because he suffers from a degenerative neuromuscular condition that forced him to use a motorized scooter.

After his tenure as chief, Nakamura taught criminal justice classes at Honolulu Community College and Chaminade University. He also ran successfully for a term with the Board of Education after he was appointed to temporarily fill a vacancy in 2000.

In 2002 he ran unsuccessfully against former state Rep. Nestor Garcia for a seat on the Honolulu City Council. Nakamura is also president of Nakamura & Associates, a company that serves subpoenas.

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