Maui police arrest habitual drunk driver after 3 hours of chaos on roads, colliding with runner and parked car

Local News

MAKENA, Hawaii (KHON2) — A blue Nissan Altima was reported for reckless driving in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 25 on the Lahaina bypass. More than three hours later, he was arrested at La Perouse Bay after leaving a trail of chaos on Maui roads and two failed attempted police stops.

Lahaina patrol officers received a report at 5:10 a.m. on Saturday stating that a vehicle was driving into oncoming lanes in the Lahaina area. Officers tried to stop the vehicle but the driver continued on towards Wailuku.

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Officers were able to identify the driver of the vehicle as 56-year-old Marcus Ruggiero of Wailuku. They did not continue the pursuit of Ruggiero due to the safety of others as well as his history of running from police but they did communicate the situation to units in Wailuku, Kihei and Lahaina.

In Wailuku town, an off-duty police officer observed Ruggiero collide into a pedestrian who was running along Honoapiilani Highway at 5:57 a.m. The officer stopped to assist the pedestrian, while Ruggiero drove away.

Again, at 6:20 a.m., Ruggiero was reported for driving recklessly on Haleakala Highway. Patrol officers attempted to stop the vehicle but Ruggiero continued on towards Paia, without stopping.

Two hours later, Ruggiero’s Altima was reported after colliding into a parked car near Makena State Park. Patrol officers located the Nissan Altima in the parking lot of La Perouse Bay and placed Ruggiero, who was still in the vehicle, under arrest.

Lt. Hankins, MPD Traffic Commander, stated, “The arrest of Mr. Ruggiero was a collaborative effort of all patrol districts, Lahaina, Wailuku, and Kihei. The fact that no one has been killed yet by Mr. Ruggiero is nothing short of a miracle.”  

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Ruggiero was charged with several traffic offenses and Negligent Injury First Degree. He also has a history of 77 arrests and 58 convictions for petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors as well as felonies.

At the time of his arrest, Ruggiero was out on bail for several traffic offenses and Attempted Murder.

The 27-year-old runner from Waikapu who Ruggiero hit in Wailuku was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

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