KAILUA-KONA — A man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after being hit by a car in Old Airport Park.
A woman was taken into police custody for reportedly driving a vehicle into the man after what several witnesses described as a verbal argument between the two.
Witnesses said at one point, the woman drove her black Buick in circles around the man as he stood in the middle of the park’s parking lot, which used to serve as the old airport’s runway. The man, some said, was throwing small objects at the car.
“You could see smoke from the tires,” said Kade DuShey.
The woman then drove south away from the man for hundreds of feet before she stopped, turned the car around and drove what appeared to be 30 mph at the man.
“We were like, ‘Oh my God, she’s going to hit him,” said Tahiti Cho, who, along with DuShey, saw the argument but could not hear the yelling from a distance.
The woman hit the man head-on, they said, and he launched up the front hood, then fell quickly backward onto the cement.
“He wasn’t moving, it was like, ‘Holy (crap),” Cho said. “I hope the guy is OK.”
DuShey called 911. Emergency responders were at the park around 4:15 p.m.
DuShey and Cho said the woman then got out of her car and began talking frantically to people who were rushing to the scene. Then she got back into the vehicle and sped northbound up the old runway, a dead end.
A few hundred feet away, the woman came to the end of the road, got out of her car and began running through some bushes, witnesses at that end of the park said.
Marcus Morton noticed the car traveling around 35 mph, too quickly, he thought, for a car approaching the end of a parking lot. He said she seemed very angry when she got out, and slammed the door before taking off on foot.
“Just booking it,” he said. “Ten minutes later, we seen the cops come in.”
A few minutes later, Morton said, he saw the woman in cuffs sitting by officers where she’d left her car.
Officers on scene described the injuries as serious, but more details weren’t available Friday. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital.
Darrell and Patti, who didn’t want to give their last name, also saw the woman in cuffs with officers. The visitors from Reno after snorkeling had returned to their car, parked near where the woman was apprehended.
Around a half hour before, when they were walking to get into the water, they said they saw the man and woman arguing at that end of the strip.
The woman did most of the yelling, Darrell said, and it was loud but they couldn’t make out what was being said.
“He didn’t do nothing,” Darrell said. “He was just taking it.”