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Hawaii Island police identify man swept into ocean after reportedly fleeing from officers

HONOLULU (KHON2) - Hawaii Island police are investigating an incident in which a man appears to have died in the ocean off the Puna coastline.

Police tentatively identify the man as 37-year-old Akoni H.N. Dias with a last known address in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Dias had been sought on four drug court warrants issued on January 22 for violating the terms of his probations. He had a total bail for warrants of 200,000 dollars.

Additionally, Dias was wanted for questioning as a suspect in a reported kidnapping, terroristic threatening, and burglary case that was reported on March 19. This case allegedly involved the use of a handgun.

Police responded to a reported dropped 911 call on Government Beach Road at the bottom of the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision in lower Puna at just after 1 p.m. Monday. 

Officers responded to the scene and found a parked Nissan sedan that was reported stolen from a Waikoloa hotel on March 25.

Officers contacted the owner of the property who told them that no one had permission to be on the lot.

Proceeding further up the driveway officers observed a residence occupied by four people. Officers surrounded the house and ordered the occupants out. While identifying the four individuals, Dias took off running down a trail towards the back of the property.

Two officers immediately pursued Dias on foot and were able to catch up and grab his clothing. Dias broke free and headed toward the ocean.

Officers deployed a Taser twice in an attempt to immobilize Dias, however it failed to incapacitate him and he pulled himself over the edge of a 15-20 foot cliff.

Dias was perched on a rock ledge 5-7 feet below officers, and refused to come back up before a large wave crashed against the side of the cliff and swept him into the ocean. 

Police say they saw him face down in the water. He was not moving, and then he disappeared from view.

The Hawaii Fire Department looked for Dias with a helicopter, boat, and jet skis.

Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing this investigation classified as a public accident. 

Police recovered of a loaded handgun after searching the residence. Investigators are determining ownership of the firearm.

The three additional suspects are being held in custody pending further investigation and a potential charging decision on the burglary and related offenses.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department's non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Jesse Kerr at (808) 961-2379 or jesse.kerr@hawaiicounty.gov.


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