Two Charged in Traffic-Related Altercation

Hawaiʻi Police Department detectives have arrested and charged two individuals with several offenses stemming from a traffic-related altercation on Wednesday afternoon in Keaʻau. 

The individuals arrested and charged are identified as 43-year-old Chad Emmet Vierra, and his son, 23-year-old Koapaka Naaualii Vierra, both of Keaʻau.

Chad Emmet Vierra has been 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. Total bail set at $9,000.

Koapaka Naaualii Vierra has been charged with two counts of first-degree Criminal Property Damage. Total bail set at $10,000.

On Wednesday afternoon shortly before 5 p.m., Puna Patrol officers 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. Officers contacted the adult male victim who reported that he and an acquaintance (Chad Vierra) had recently been involved in a verbal altercation, where Vierra pointed a handgun 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, Vierra fired several shots towards him. Shortly afterward, Vierra’s son, Koapaka, arrived in the area and reportedly intentionally rammed his vehicle into the passenger side of the victim’s vehicle.

Both Vierra’s were arrested, and their vehicles were recovered and towed to the Hilo Police Station, pending execution of search warrants. 

After being charged on Thursday evening, both individuals posted bail and have been issued a court appearance date of May 26 in Hilo District Court.

Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed this incident to call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

Police want to remind the public 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.            

HPD photos (L-R Chad Emmet Vierra and Koapaka Naaualii Vierra)