Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Former Honolulu police officer Clyde Arakawa, right, is
accompanied by his attorney, Michael Ostendorp, in court
today for a bail-reduction hearing.

Judge reduces
Arakawa’s bail
to $75,000

The retired Honolulu police
officer is facing manslaughter
charges in the death of
Dana Ambrose

By Debra Barayuga

Retired police officer Clyde Arakawa has until today to post $75,000 cash bail so he can return to Oregon pending trial on a manslaughter charge.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn granted Arakawa's request to reduce his bail from $100,000, saying it was a "fair figure" that balanced his rights as well as that of the state.

Arakawa faces trial in July for manslaughter in the traffic death of 19-year-old Dana Ambrose last October.

Michael Ostendorp, Arakawa's attorney, said they hope to raise the $75,000 from donations sent in from over 100 supporters and well-wishers, some of whom have not even met Arakawa.

Arakawa has also had to sell property he has owned in Oregon since 1989 to help raise money for his defense, Ostendorp said.

The state, which initially sought $250,000 bail based on Arakawa's history of drinking and the death that resulted from the October collision, did not object to Arakawa returning to Oregon while he awaits trial but objected to the bail reduction.

While Arakawa's family has ties to the state, the likelihood of him not returning for trial is high since he is now retired, living in Oregon and faces a 20-year prison term if convicted, argued deputy prosecutor Jean Ireton. "One-hundred thousand is the least we can do in this case." Ostendorp argued that Arakawa is not a flight risk, has cooperated with the police investigation and would not want to let down those who have contributed money to help in his defense. "He's not going to disappoint them -- he'll come back."

While out on bail, Arakawa is prohibited from driving, possessing or consuming any alcohol or illicit drugs and must submit to random drug testing.

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