Police investigators combed the scene yesterday at the Honolulu Community College parking lot where a Honolulu police officer was the victim of a hit and run. The officer was taken to Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.

Van runs over
police officer

The suspect is a felon
who allegedly struck
another officer Nov. 9

An undercover Kalihi police officer was critically injured yesterday when struck by a van in the parking lot of Honolulu Community College driven by a man who allegedly hit the foot of another police officer with a stolen car Nov. 9.


Jeffrey Omai: Taken to the Queen's Medical Center with head and internal injuries

Police conducted a door-to-door search of the Punahou area but failed to find the suspect after finding the getaway van abandoned on Alexander Street just above the H-1 freeway. The search was discontinued last night.

The officer, Jeffrey Omai, a four-year veteran of the police force, was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition with head injuries and possible internal injuries. Omai is also a longtime member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and was training to be a navigator aboard the voyaging canoe Hokule'a.

The suspect is believed to be a convicted felon, the same man who previously struck another Kalihi police officer in the foot Nov. 9 in Kalihi using a stolen vehicle.

The suspect is described as about 43 years old, Hawaiian-Portuguese, about 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 210 pounds. He is wanted for first-degree attempted murder.

He has eight prior convictions including auto theft, terroristic threatening and reckless driving.

Maj. Susan Ballard, commander of the Honolulu Police Department's Kalihi district, said three to four crime reduction unit officers were looking for the suspect for an earlier auto theft case in Kalihi.

The CRU officers knew the suspect had been involved in the Nov. 9 incident in which he struck a Kalihi police officer in the foot and leg at Kealoha Street near Gulick Avenue.

According to sources close to the investigation, the officers spotted the suspect, and he saw them and allegedly accelerated toward them. The van was also tied to a robbery yesterday morning at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The other officers managed to get out of the way, but Omai, who had exited from the rear of the van, did not see him coming, sources said.

Jason Kotani, 20, a car salesman at the Cutter Dodge across Dillingham Boulevard, "heard tires peeling out."

Police officers searched for the hit-and-run suspect last night between Punahou and Alexander streets.

Kotani saw a white van drive out of the parking lot heading toward King Street.

He then saw three to four men dressed in shorts and T-shirts using walkie-talkies, who he later learned were undercover officers, running after it.

"We thought it was a drug deal," Kotani said.

Kotani said he saw a bunch of people huddling around something on the ground in the community college parking lot.

"We found out it was a police officer," he said.

Kotani said some of the officers appeared visibly upset.

"It's very disheartening and very saddening," said Ballard. "We had another shooting in May with another CRU officer, so it's very upsetting."

In the Nov. 9 incident, the police officer, 45, was on his way to work at the Kalihi Substation when he saw the driver of a white, two-door Ford Fiesta speeding and driving recklessly.

The officer followed the car, police said, and pulled the driver over at about 5:50 a.m. As the officer approached the car, the driver reversed and hit the officer's foot and leg, police said.

The driver then hit a parked car and fled. The officer was taken to the Queen's Medical Center, where he was reported in good condition.

Police found the Fiesta abandoned along Hanaloa Street in Ewa Beach at about 6:30 a.m. The car had been stolen from Kalihi on Nov. 1.

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

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