Hilo Man Charged in Stolen Vehicle Incident

The Hawai`i Police Department has charged a 19-year-old Hilo man in connection with multiple offenses stemming from a vehicle stolen in Hilo on Friday.

The suspect is identified as Jonathan Kealoha Gardner.

At around noon on Friday, the victim reported that his 2013 Nissan Altima sedan had been stolen from the parking lot of his apartment complex on Hualani Street in Hilo.  Later that afternoon South Hilo patrol officers responded to several reports of the stolen vehicle being seen at different locations in the Hilo area.

At 7:36 p.m., a Traffic Enforcement Unit officer came upon the stolen vehicle stopped on the roadway of Keōkea Loop in Keaukaha with the male suspect in the driver’s seat and a female standing outside near the trunk. When the TEU officer approached the stolen vehicle on foot, the male suspect reportedly accelerated the vehicle directly toward the officer who jumped out of the way to avoid being struck.  The suspect then ran through a stop sign and sped off at a high rate of speed.

Other officers conducting area checks located the suspect vehicle on King Avenue. As the officers vehicles approached, the suspect vehicle headlights came on and the vehicle sped directly toward the officers narrowly missing a collision with two patrol vehicles. Officers turned around and pursued the stolen vehicle to the dead end of King Avenue where the suspect jumped out as the vehicle was still in motion, the vehicle then continued into the brush.  The suspect then ran on foot through several residential lots and climbed over numerous fences with officers in foot pursuit before he was caught and apprehended on Andrews Avenue.

On Saturday at 5:30 p.m., after conferring with prosecutors, police charged Gardner with one count of first-degree unauthorized control of a motor vehicle, (U.C.P.V) , one count of first-degree attempted assault,  three counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, one count of resisting arrest, reckless driving, and driving without a license.

Gardner was held in lieu of $78,000 bail pending his initial court appearance in South Hilo District Court which was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Neither the officers nor Gardner sustained any injuries during the collision or pursuit.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call Detective Kelly Moniz at (808) 961-2385 or email kelly.moniz@hawaiicounty.gov.

HPD provided image.