Authorities identify man who died in police custody

HILO — Police identified a 64-year-old Hilo man who died early Saturday morning after being in police custody as Colin Miller.

Capt. Greg Esteban of the Hilo Criminal Investigation Division said an autopsy performed Tuesday found that Miller died of “blunt force trauma” to the head “consistent with a motor vehicle accident.”

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According to Esteban, Miller’s death was ruled accidental.

Miller, who was riding a 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle west on Makaala Street in Hilo, was taken into custody by police about 3:35 p.m. Friday afternoon after he reportedly rear-ended a Toyota sedan and was thrown from the bike.

Police say Miller, who refused medical treatment, was booked on suspicion of DUI and driving without a license and insurance. He wasn’t charged with the DUI, but the license and insurance charges were filed.

Miller was unable to post $1,250 bail and was placed in a single-occupancy cell.

According to police, Miller was found unresponsive in the cell at about 10:20 p.m. Friday. Fire Department medics were summoned and Miller was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:40 a.m. Saturday.

Through the years, a number of people have died while in Hawaii Police Department custody or while receiving medical attention summoned for the individual while he or she was in custody. An unofficial list compiled by the Tribune-Herald includes:

• Thomas Lionel Woods, 63, of Waimea, who died Sept. 9, 2018, at North Hawaii Community Hospital. Autopsy results indicate Woods died of asphyxiation stemming from a self-inflicted injury he suffered while being detained in a temporary cell in the South Kohala police station in Waimea.

• Clarence Hatori, 38, of Pahoa, who collapsed June 15, 2016, in the Hilo police cellblock and died 15 days later while on life support at Hilo Medical Center. An autopsy ruled out foul play.

• Jonathan Watson, 46, of Ocean View, who, according to police, came out of a Hukilau Drive home April 25, 2016, and started fighting with officers responding to a report of a shooting. Police said Watson, who had a bandage on his left leg, became unresponsive after officers took him into custody outside the house. CPR failed and Watson was officially pronounced dead later at Kona Community Hospital. Autopsy results were inconclusive, but Watson had a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his left leg that police say was most likely accidentally self-inflicted.

• Randall Hatori, 39, of Kailua-Kona, who, according to police, died Feb. 4, 2014, while struggling with officers who attempted to subdue him during an arrest in Kailua-Kona. Hatori, an older brother of Clarence Hatori, was tasered during his encounter with police, but a medical examiner ruled that wasn’t a factor in his death, although his death was ruled a homicide by medical definition, not in the legal sense.

• Barry Joseph Curl, 47, of Hilo, who was found unresponsive in a cell Nov. 29, 2008, at the Hilo police cellblock. Fire Department medics were immediately summoned, police said, and Curl, who never regained consciousness, was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. There were no signs of traumatic injuries on Curl’s body and autopsy results were inconclusive about exact cause of death.

• Ann Marie Lewis, 47, of Hilo, who was found unresponsive in a cell at the Hilo police cellblock on Feb. 27, 2008. Fire Department medics were immediately summoned, police said, and Lewis, who never regained consciousness, was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Autopsy results were inconclusive about cause of death.

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• Rodell Rudel, 36, of Kaloko Mauka, who died Feb. 4, 1999, in the Kona police cellblock. An autopsy found Lewis had lethal amounts of hydrocodone and acetaminophen in his system, as well as detectable amounts of ethanol, benzodiazepines and methamphetamine.

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

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