Auto theft suspect shot at KFC will appear in court Thursday


POSTED: Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A preliminary hearing will be held Thursday for a 23-year-old suspected auto thief who was shot by police when they tried to arrest him last week at a Waikele fast-food restaurant.

Jeremiah Lopez III was shot three times last Tuesday in the drive-through at the KFC at Waikele Center as he allegedly tried to escape from police in a stolen Dodge Durango.

Lopez was spotted driving the SUV he had allegedly stolen a day earlier. Police approached the vehicle in the drive-through line, and Lopez allegedly tried to ram his way out of the line, hitting a police car and dragging an officer. One officer suffered a back injury, while another had an injured shoulder.

Two passengers in the car, Cherish C.K. Craig, 25, and Ronald Kalani-Pawai, 24, were arrested at the scene.

Craig and Lopez made their first court appearances yesterday before District Judge Faye Koyanagi and were ordered to face a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Lopez is charged with first-degree assault, two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, auto theft, terroristic threatening, criminal property damage and two drug charges. His bail was set at $200,000.

Lopez, who was hospitalized after the shooting, appeared in court with his left forearm heavily bandaged. When he entered the court, Lopez blew a kiss to relatives who sat in two rows.

He was released from the hospital Friday into police custody after being treated for two gunshot wounds in the chest and one in the arm.

Craig is charged with unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Her bail was set at $30,000. Kalani-Pawai has also been charged with unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.