Men charged following traffic-related altercation

  • Chad Vierra

  • Koapaka Vierra

Hawaii Island police detectives have arrested and charged two individuals with several offenses stemming from a traffic-related altercation on Wednesday afternoon in Keaʻau.

Shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Hawaii Police Department officers assigned to Puna Patrol responded to the area of the Keaʻau Bypass Road (Highway 130) and Railroad Avenue for a report of two vehicles chasing each other and one of the male drivers firing a gun at the other vehicle.

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Officers contacted the adult male victim who reported that he and an acquaintance had recently been involved in a verbal altercation, a handgun was pointed at him. Both vehicles then left the area and subsequently began a back-and-forth of chasing each other. The victim reported that during the incident, several shots were fired toward him.

Shortly afterward, another man, identified as the suspect’s son, arrived in the area and reportedly intentionally rammed his vehicle into the passenger side of the victim’s vehicle.

Chad Emmet Vierra, 43, and his son, 23-year-old Koapaka Naaualii Vierra, both of Keaʻau, were subsequently arrested.

Chad Emmet Vierra was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug, and place to keep ammunition. Bail was bail set at $9,000.

Koapaka Naaualii Vierra was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal property damage. His bail was set at $10,000.

Both have since posted bail and are slated to appear in court next month.

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Anyone who may have witnessed the incident should call the police department’s nonemergency number at (808) 935-3311.

Police also noted that in light of the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) Emergency Proclamations in place, there are enhanced penalties for certain crimes, including but not limited to, burglary, theft, criminal property damage, and robbery.

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