Carjacker caught by Good Samaritan pleads guilty

  • Hanato
  • Derek Hanato is seen in police custody following the June 24 carjacking incident. (Photo via Facebook, Sam Alexander/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — A 24-year-old man recently pleaded guilty to charges filed in connection with a June carjacking in downtown Kailua-Kona.

Derek Ikaika Hanato pleaded guilty Sept. 13 to unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and first-degree criminal property damage in connection with the June 24 incident.

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In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop the six other charges, which included three class C felonies and one class B felony, filed against Hanato. The states also agreed it would recommend concurrent prison sentences as well as allow the defense to argue for any legal sentence.

The car theft charge, a class C felony, carries up to five years incarceration, and/or a fine of up to $10,000, or four years probation with one year incarceration and/or $10,000 fine. For the property damage charge, a class B felony, Hanato faces up to 10 years incarceration and/or $25,000 fine, or four years probation with up to 18 months incarceration and/or $10,000 fine.

Hanato’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 9. He remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $74,000 bail.

The Kailua-Kona man had faced one count each unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle; driving with a suspended/revoked license; second-degree robbery; inattention to driving; second-degree theft; failure to stop after an accident involving substantial bodily injury; second-degree assault; and first-degree criminal property damage in connection with the June 24 incident.

According to Hawaii Police and court records, Hanato approached a 65-year-old Kailua-Kona man who had stepped out of his running vehicle to clean his windshield at the Shell gas station on Kuakini Highway. Hanato then knocked the man down and “forcibly took the vehicle causing injury to the man.”

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Hanato then sped northbound on Kuakini Highway, ran a red light and broadsided an SUV, which was traveling west down Palani Road. An elderly passenger in the SUV was injured.

A Good Samaritan who observed the crash followed the suspect, who fled on foot, police said. The man, later identified as Sam Alexander, detained Hanato until police arrived.