Thursday, September 20, 2001

Man charged
in attempt to
run over cop

Police also think he is a
suspect in at least 1 robbery
of a Waipahu jewelry store

By Nelson Daranciang

A 31-year-old Waianae man was scheduled to make his first court appearance today on four counts of attempted murder for allegedly trying to run over a police officer and another man Monday in Nanakuli.

Police charged Benjamin Pale, 31, yesterday with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder.

The two first-degree charges stem from an attempt on a police officer and the fact that there was more than one victim, and the second-degree charges relate to attempts on two individuals.

Pale's bail is $500,000.

Mug shot He also was charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Police said Pale was behind the wheel of a stolen car that was speeding toward police officer Philip Aguilar and another man standing in the driveway of a Nanakuli home Monday.

The other man, Abel K. Pahinui, said the driver tried to run over them. He said Aguilar pushed him out of the way and fired two shots at the car, police said. One shot hit Pale in the shoulder.

Police said Pale abandoned the car in the back yard of a home about a mile away, fled on foot to Nanakuli Beach Park and caught a ride to Kapolei. They arrested him in another stolen vehicle with a man and three women near Kapolei Elementary School.

He was taken to Queen's Medical Center by Army medevac helicopter where he was treated for his wound and released back to police.

Police said they recovered live ammunition in the abandoned car.

Also charged yesterday was Karen Eschelbach, 24, with hindering prosecution and two counts of auto theft. Police believe she was in the car in Nanakuli with Pale. Her bail is $15,300.

The alleged driver of the second vehicle, Patrick Sua, 37, has been charged with auto theft. His bail is $25,000.

Selina Dalao, 19, was allegedly a passenger in the second vehicle. She has been charged with auto theft and hindering prosecution. Her bail is $16,000.

Police released the third woman who was arrested in the second vehicle.

Aguilar, 46, a 16-year Honolulu police veteran, has been placed on desk duty while HPD's Internal Affairs Division investigates the shooting.

Police believe Pale is also responsible for at least one of two robberies of Debbie's Jewelry at 94-050 Farrington Hwy. in Waipahu in June, in which the robbers used a crowbar to smash glass display cases to get to the merchandise.

Store employees said they identified him as one of the robbers in the second robbery, which occurred on June 23.

One man, Brandon Gouveia, 23, has already been arrested and charged in that robbery.

Police said there was one other man who entered the store with Gouveia and another man who drove the stolen getaway car.

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