Pahoa woman charged with several offenses

  • Rina-Lee Yaeko Shimizu

KAILUA-KONA — Detectives charged a 38-year-old Pahoa woman Friday for several offenses stemming from an incident in which she allegedly rammed a police vehicle Wednesday night in Kalapana before fleeing the scene and was subsequently arrested.

The suspect is identified as a Rina-Lee Yaeko Shimizu of a Hawaiian Beaches address, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

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The incident began about 9 p.m. Wednesday when Puna patrol officers conducted a traffic stop on a dark-colored four-door Acura sedan on Highway 130, near mile marker 17, for an inoperable headlight, police said.

As one officer pulled behind the Acura, police said the driver quickly initiated a U-turn and collided head-on with another officer’s occupied vehicle that had stopped on the roadway to provide backup on the traffic stop. After the collision, which deployed the Acura’s airbags, the vehicle rolled onto the shoulder and into an embankment and came to a stop.

As officers approached on foot yelling commands to the suspect, she then reversed rapidly and rammed the same officer’s vehicle twice before fleeing the scene heading toward Pahoa. Officers pursued and eventually stopped the Acura after the vehicle experienced mechanical difficulties near the bottom of Kahakai Boulevard in Hawaiian Beaches.

Shimizu was arrested for several traffic offenses and an outstanding warrant for revocation of parole. Detectives continued the investigation and later served a search warrant on the vehicle recovering drugs and a loaded pistol.

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Shimizu was charged on Friday with one count each first-degree criminal property damage, first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, second-degree assault, place to keep a firearm, place to keep ammunition, firearm on a highway, ownership/possession of firearm prohibited, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, three counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and five additional traffic offenses. Bail was set at $263,000.

Following the incident, a 32-year-old Puna patrol officer was transported to the Hilo Medical Center and treated for injuries suffered in the collision. He was subsequently released in good condition.

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