Ex-assistant police chief charged with numerous offenses


A former Hawaii Police Department assistant chief was restrained by his detective ex-girlfriend Sunday after he reportedly attempted to break into her house.

Mitchell Kanehailua Jr., 57, of Hilo was arrested Sunday morning and charged Monday evening with violating a restraining order, first-degree attempted burglary, third-degree assault and third-degree attempted assault.


At around 5:14 a.m. Sunday, Kona patrol officers responded to a report of a possible domestic dispute in the 73-4000 block of Hawaii Belt Road in Kona.

According to court documents, Carrie Akina, a 41-year-old detective with HPD’s Area II Criminal Investigation Section, was awakened by a phone call at about 5:08 a.m. from her neighbor Tennille Howard.

Howard later told police that she had heard someone yelling outside between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. and eventually approached him, telling him he wasn’t allowed to be there. Akina, who according to the documents had been in a relationship with Kanehailua between 2016 and 2020, had previously obtained a protective order against him in March that prohibits him from coming within 100 feet of her.

In response to Howard’s remark, Kanehailua allegedly swung at her, but she was able to evade the attack, whereupon she called Akina.

Upon answering the phone, Akina heard Kanehailua’s voice in the background, prompting her to approach her front door.

At the front door, Akina allegedly witnessed Kanehailua shouting obscenities and kicking the door. He then approached a glass door on another side of the residence and shouting at it instead.

Akina later told police that she felt that Kanehailua would be an immediate threat to her and her two children if he were to break the glass door door, so she went to retrieve her police service weapon from a safe in her bedroom, the documents state.

Upon her return to the front of the house, Akina saw her two nephews “confronting” Kanehailua, and eventually the two were able to “gain control” of him, according to the documents.

Akina retrieved her police handcuffs from her vehicle and restrained Kanehailua until other officers arrived. Officers allegedly found the restrained Kanehailua shouting obscenities and seemingly not “in the right state of mind.”

In his arrest photo, Kanehailua appears to have sustained facial injuries, with both eyes swollen and blackened. It is not clear from the police report whether he sustained those injuries in the course of the incident or had received them at some other point.

Kanehailua initially was placed under arrest for the violation of the order of protection and harassment, but after conferring with the Department of the Attorney General, he was charged with the other offenses, and his bail was set at $9,000.

He appeared at an initial hearing in Kona on Tuesday, where his bail was maintained, and he remained in custody pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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