HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — On Friday, April 21, it was reported that Dyllan Paulo-Leslie, 27, had escaped the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo.

According to officials, he had jumped off a building and climbed over razor wire fencing to escape.

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Hawaii Island police said they were initially concerned he would head towards downtown Hilo where they had the Friday night market.

With no sighting of him, the Hilo district police officers thought Paulo-Leslie might have found a ride back to his home area of Kona, but then a tip came in early Saturday morning.

“Shortly before 8 o’clock this morning, we were kind of regrouping and deciding the best course of action for today and we actually got a tip from residents in the Reed’s Island neighborhood area that he had been seen,” explained Capt. Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Hawaii Island Police Department.

Police immediately went to the area and checked the resident’s surveillance cameras and confirmed it was Paulo-Leslie in the footage.

“Pretty much the manhunt ensued,” he added.

About 30 officers were searching the area and two police officers knocked on visitor Kevin Raineri’s door right around 8 a.m.

“They had asked if I’d seen or heard anyone and that there was a convict that was on the loose and in the area and they asked if we heard and we said no,” he explained.

Raineri was staying at a vacation rental that was located just above a portion of the Wailuku River. He told KHON2 he had been joking with his wife the past few days about how eerily quiet the area was.

“It was kind of freaky because the place that we’re staying in is absolutely beautiful first of all, and it’s so secluded. It was a bit unnerving even when we first got there, there is nothing it is dark, dark, except for the starlight,” he said.

“Then this is how the morning started,” he said laughing.

He said police searched the property with canines for about 20 minutes.

The Hawaiʻi Fire Department deployed their helicopter which was seen hovering low over the Wailuku Riverbed.

Raineri said police did a good job thoroughly looking for Paulo-Leslie, and were checking inside vehicles that were coming and going from the area.

It was Raineri and his wife’s last night in Hawaii and they decided to check into a hotel in case Paulo-Leslie wasn’t caught.

Around the same time they were leaving the area, the FBI and United States Marshals were getting ready to travel to Hilo to assist in the search.

On Saturday, April 22, at 1:04 p.m., Paulo-Leslie was taken into custody after he was found in the riverbed of the Wailuku River behind Hilo High School; which was about 400 yards from where Raineri was staying, and about 200 yards from HCCC.
Following his arrest, police said Paulo-Leslie was taken to the Hilo Medical Center for treatment of injuries he sustained as a result of scaling razor wire while escaping HCCC, and jumping from the roof of the facility.

After receiving medical treatment, Paulo-Leslie will be returned to the Hawai’i Community Correctional Center where he has been incarcerated on charges of attempted murder, robbery, and terroristic threatening stemming from an incident that occurred in November 2022. He is being held without bail on those charges.
Police said review of residential video surveillance also showed Paulo-Leslie attempting to steal two vehicles in the area. Paulo-Leslie now faces charges of first-degree escape and attempted vehicle theft.
The coordinated manhunt for Paulo-Leslie involved the Hawai‘i Police Department, the Hawai‘i Fire Department, the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DLNR DOCARE), the Department of Public Safety Sheriff Division, as well as assistance from the FBI and the United States Marshals Service.

According to police, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, HPD responded to a report of an active armed robbery on Kauhola Street in the Kaloko Light Industrial Park in Kailua-Kona. Paulo-Leslie allegedly brandished a weapon and took an undisclosed amount of money.

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On the same day, Paulo-Leslie was arrested on charges including “attempted murder, auto theft, reckless endangering, theft and multiple firearms offenses following an incident involving armed robbery, a car crash and shooting at an officer in Kailua-Kona,” according to Big Island police.   

An internal investigation by the Hawaii Department of Public Safety is in the process of determining how he escaped.