Man arrested in skirmish with police


POSTED: Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A homeless man shot by police in Kakaako was arrested upon his release from a hospital yesterday on suspicion of first-degree attempted murder.

Police also arrested him on two traffic warrants totaling $3,950 and on suspicion of unauthorized possession of confidential personal information. He allegedly had someone else's state identification card.

The man, 29, who has no criminal convictions, was sleeping Sunday morning in a car with the engine running on Cooke Street near Kapiolani Boulevard when an officer woke him and asked him to turn off the engine.

The officer, a police sergeant, then asked the man to remove the keys from the ignition, but instead the man restarted the car, police said.

The sergeant reached in to turn off the ignition and remove the keys, but the man drove off while the sergeant still had his right arm in the car, police said.

The sergeant was dragged a few feet, said police Maj. Clayton Kau.

The first officer on scene — seeing the sergeant being dragged — pulled out his firearm and moved to the back of the car.

“;Fearing for the safety of his fellow officer, he drew his weapon and fired three rounds,”; Kau said.

The bullets struck the car's passenger window, the rear windshield and the trunk before the car sped off, police said. The car was found abandoned in Kalihi a half-hour later.

The sergeant fell to the pavement, causing a bruise on his right forearm, and was treated at the scene.

Police were informed when the suspect was brought to Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi an hour later for treatment of a single gunshot wound. Kau could not confirm reports that the man had been shot in the hip.

“;We're trained to stop the threat,”; Kau said. “;We're not trained to shoot tires out.”;

The man was not the car's registered owner, but was not arrested for stealing a vehicle.

The 23-year-old patrol officer who fired his weapon has a year of experience and is stationed with District 1, which covers downtown Honolulu.

Kau said he could not comment on whether the officer who fired the gun had endangered the sergeant. The officer who fired his gun was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.