Officer injured by fleeing car theft suspect
Police say the fugitive accelerated, pinning the sergeant’s ankle
A Kalihi police sergeant suffered a badly sprained ankle yesterday after jumping out of the way of an alleged car thief who accelerated a car toward him, hitting the officer's foot and sideswiping his subsidized patrol vehicle in Salt Lake.
Sgt. David Yomes' left ankle was briefly caught between the door jamb of his Dodge Durango and a stolen Lexus near Salt Lake Boulevard and Peltier Avenue at about 1:45 a.m., police said.
Police officials said Yomes had pulled over the Lexus, which had been reported stolen, but had to stop his own vehicle in front of it.
Yomes stepped out of his vehicle, then the driver allegedly accelerated and hit Yomes' foot and vehicle as he tried to squeeze the Lexus between the sport utility vehicle and a concrete median. The suspect stopped the car and fled on foot in the Ewa direction on Salt Lake Boulevard, police said.
"Sgt. Yomes' only escape was to get back into his car," said Kalihi Maj. Susan Ballard. "He was not able to get out of the way in time.
"The suspect did not have to accelerate towards Sgt. Yomes to escape," Ballard added. "He had two full lanes on the opposite side he could have gone around."
Yomes was taken to the Queen's Medical Center and received treatment for a sprained ankle and lacerations to his left leg.
"He has a very bad sprain on his ankle," Ballard said. "Doctors are surprised he doesn't have a crushed bone."
Ballard said the Lexus was reported stolen earlier from Likini Street and that an all-points bulletin went out at 1:30 a.m. She said Yomes was traveling along Salt Lake Boulevard and was side by side with the suspect vehicle when he pulled up behind it to order the driver to pull over.
The suspect stopped so suddenly, however, that Yomes shot past him and was forced to pull his vehicle to the front of the Lexus rather than behind, as is police procedure.
But Ballard said Yomes did nothing wrong. "Things can happen that they have to change the procedures," she said.
Afterward, police searched for the suspect using the HPD helicopter, Specialized Services Division personnel and the police bloodhound. The suspect was described as between 18 and 20 years old, 5-foot-10, about 140 pounds and last seen wearing a black shirt and pants.
Ballard said Yomes and other officers had been staking out the area because of a rash of stolen cars ending up in Salt Lake. She said Yomes expects to be back at work soon: "He told me he'd be back on Monday."