Friday, June 22, 2001

Teen-ager charged as
adult in several cases

By Nelson Daranciang

Police have charged a 17-year-old boy as an adult in several cases including an attack on a police officer, three escapes from the youth prison and a case inside the prison involving a knife.

Police arrested Ryan-Seth Kiaha on Tuesday after a state Family Court judge waived jurisdiction over him. They charged Kiaha on Wednesday with assault, escape, auto theft, promoting prison contraband and terroristic threatening.

Kiaha made his initial court appearance on those charges yesterday. He remains in custody in lieu of $127,000 bail. A preliminary hearing to determine whether Kiaha will stand trial on those charges is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Police are hoping a Family Court judge will waive jurisdiction over Kiaha in several other cases as well.In court documents relating to the current charges, police said Kiaha's first escape from the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in Kailua was on Oct. 6, 1999 when he and another inmate walked out of the facility. He was arrested a week later near a residence in Waimanalo where police believed he had been staying.

Kiaha escaped from the youth facility again on Nov. 23, 1999.

The documents state that on Dec. 15, 1999, Kiaha was a passenger in a stolen vehicle that was recorded traveling 75 mph toward Kaneohe on the H-3 freeway. The vehicle stopped on the shoulder after leading a motorcycle patrol officer on a chase weaving in and out of traffic, according to the documents.

Police said as the officer pulled behind the vehicle, the car reversed into the officer knocking him off his motorcycle. The officer got up and fired two shots at the vehicle which then fled.

The officer received minor injuries. The vehicle was later recovered in Kailua.

During their investigation, police said the boy who was operating the vehicle told them that Kiaha was the one who put the vehicle into reverse before it struck the officer. Police found Kiaha's fingerprints in the vehicle.

On Jan. 7, 2000, police said they arrested Kiaha operating another stolen vehicle near Sandy Beach.

The terroristic threatening and contraband charges relate to an incident at the youth facility on Feb. 4, 2000. According to the documents, Kiaha was armed with a hand-made knife when he told two correctional officers that he would stab the first person who tried to grab him.

His most recent escape from the youth facility was on April 9 this year when he and two other boys climbed through the ceiling panel of the facility's gymnasium to get to the roof, then to the outside. Police arrested Kiaha four hours later at a bus stop near Castle Medical Center.

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