Police chase suspect apprehended

  • KALEB MURAGIN

A 23-year-old Hilo man sought by police after leading them on a chase June 30 that included driving on the wrong side of a divided highway has been arrested.

The Hilo Special Enforcement Unit tracked down and arrested Kaleb Charles Muragin of Waiakea Uka on Thursday.

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He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury, reckless driving, resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle, driving without a license and contempt of court.

According to police, at about 9 a.m. June 30, officers saw a Chevrolet Trailblazer driving on the shoulder of Ainaloa Drive to overtake other vehicles near Heahea Street. Officers attempted a traffic stop, but the driver — identified by police as Muragin — sped away, colliding with a Honda van at the intersection of Maunakai and Haihai streets, then fleeing the scene.

An 80-year-old passenger in the van was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of his injuries and later released.

Officers continued pursuit, and allegedly saw the suspect intentionally turn the sport-utility vehicle into a lane of oncoming traffic on Highway 11 from Mamaki Street and continue opposite the traffic flow, forcing vehicles off the road.

Officers then terminated the pursuit out of concern for public safety.

Muragin made his initial court appearance Friday afternoon. Hilo District Judge Kanani Laubach denied a motion by Deputy Public Defender Arthur Indiola to free Muragin on court-supervised release without cash bail and ordered him to return today for a preliminary hearing.

Muragin remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $3,400 bail.

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Police ask anyone who witnessed or has information about this incident to call Officer Andrew Springer at (808) 961-8222 or email Area1.seu@hawaiicounty.gov. Those who prefer anonymity can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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