Friday, May 11, 2001

Arakawa requests
lowering bail

The ex-officer seeks to be free
until facing drunken driving
and manslaughter charges

By Debra Barayuga

Former police officer Clyde Arakawa is asking to have his bail reduced to $50,000 from $100,000. He is charged with manslaughter in the traffic death of 19-year-old Dana Ambrose last year.

A hearing on Arakawa's request has been set for Tuesday before Circuit Judge Karen Ahn. He is also seeking permission to leave Hawaii for Lincoln City, Ore., where he now lives, pending his trial.

Arakawa is accused of driving while intoxicated and colliding with Ambrose's car at Pali Highway and Iolani Avenue on Oct. 7, killing her.

In a motion filed the same day, Circuit Court Judge Richard Perkins granted Arakawa's request to remain free until Tuesday while he makes arrangements to post bail. Arakawa indicated that he was having trouble obtaining the money.

Michael Ostendorp, Arakawa's attorney, maintains his client has cooperated with the investigation by Honolulu police and is neither a flight risk nor a danger to anyone.

Arakawa, 48, is prohibited from driving, possessing or consuming any alcohol or illegal substances, and banned from Tropic's Diner and Side Street Inn -- two establishments that allegedly served him drinks the night of the fatal crash.

The state had allowed Arakawa to return to Hawaii in lieu of arrest on the grand jury warrant, and he turned himself in to Honolulu police Tuesday afternoon, Ostendorp noted.

Also, Arakawa's ties to Hawaii are "extensive" and support his pretrial release, Ostendorp said.

Arakawa is expected to testify on his willingness to return to Hawaii for all court appearances, stay in contact with his attorney and abide by any conditions the court imposes.

City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle had initially asked that Arakawa be held on $250,000 bail, arguing that he posed a danger to the community because of a 1992 alcohol-related incident and the Oct. 7 crash that killed Ambrose.

He raised similar arguments in opposing Arakawa's request to remain free for a week until he can post bail.

Perkins set bail at $100,000. In granting Arakawa time to arrange for bail, Perkins ruled that conditions could be imposed to ensure the retired police officer does not flee and also minimize the danger to the community.

Arakawa, who flew here from Oregon Tuesday, is expected to be arraigned Monday. Manslaughter is punishable by a 20-year prison term.

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