UPDATE 6/2/16: The suspect, Rimoni Pologa-Seiuli, has been charged with attempted assault. View the full story here.
Honolulu police had to wrestle a murder suspect to the ground after he tried to jump from a freeway overpass Monday morning.
The incident prompted all westbound lanes of the H-1 Freeway to shut down for at least 45 minutes, from 7-7:45 a.m.
Police said at 4:49 a.m., officers responded to reports of an assault on the corner of Kamehameha IV Road and School Street, in the Aloha Island Mart parking lot.
Police said it started off as an argument that turned physical.
“The initial argument and altercation occurred down the street at another convenience store and the suspect gave chase to the victim, and they ended up here in the parking lot,” said Lt. Phillip Lavarias with the Honolulu Police Department.
The 48-year-old victim rushed to the hospital in critical condition where he later died. The Honolulu medical examiner identified him as Riley Meade of Honolulu.
Autopsy results reveal Meade suffered sudden cardiac death during a violent physical struggle. He also suffered from hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
His death was ruled a homicide.
“We have numerous witnesses that saw the incident and they came forward. Thankfully, they came forward and positively identified the suspect in the case,” Lavarias said.
Police say the suspect, Rimoni Pologa-Seiuli, 19, from Waipahu, fled the scene. Officers chased him to the H-1 Gulick Avenue overpass bridge.
Dramatic video shows what happened next. Officers had to tackle the suspect to bring him out of harm’s way.
Carl Ahlo say he took his camera out after noticing several officers trying to talk to a shirtless man standing on the outer side of the overpass railing.
“He was making them back off and stuff. They kept talking to him and talking to him, and eventually, I don’t think he was listening to them, but he was always pointing up Gulick Avenue,” Ahlo said.
Ahlo said officers were talking to the suspect for at least a half hour.
“I was just hoping that he wouldn’t jump. I figured they were talking to him, but they had so many of them there that he was like back and forth, so they had to keep their distance to make sure that he didn’t jump,” he told KHON2.
Pologa-Seiuli sat down on the railing as officers continued the conversation. All of a sudden, several officers converged on him, pulling him to the other side.
Pologa-Sciuli was arrested for one count of second-degree murder and an outstanding warrant. He has since been released pending further investigation on the murder count, but is still being held on the warrant. Police say he remains at the hospital.
Police weren’t sure what the relationship was between Pologa-Seiuli and his 48-year-old victim.
They said no weapon has been found.