Man swept into ocean while reportedly fleeing from police

Hawaii Island first responders are searching the Hawaiian Beaches coastline for a man who appears to have died after being swept into the sea.

Police responded shortly after 1 p.m. Monday to a 911 call on Beach Road in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision, according to a police report. There, officers found a group of adults. The report says one of the adults, a man, fled the group, running toward a 15- to 20-foot oceanside cliff.


Although officers attempted to restrain the man, he escaped their grasp and went over the edge of the cliff, dropping to a lower ledge 5-10 feet below. Shortly thereafter, a large wave swept above the ledge, knocking the man into the ocean.

The man was seen floating face down in the water, immobile, for some time before disappearing from view.

East Hawaii Battalion Chief Matthias Kusch said he understood that the man attempted to use the ocean to flee police.

Kusch said the man was described as a local male in his 30s, but further details were not forthcoming. The search continues today.


The Hawaii Fire Department responded with a helicopter, boat and personal watercraft patrols. Dive teams attempted to locate the man, but high surf prevented them from approaching the rocks where the man was last seen.

Ultimately, the man was not located Monday. The search continued today at first light.

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