H-1 fall victim identified, HPD procedures under review

Local News

A deadly fall from the H-1 Freeway has the Honolulu Police Department investigating its own procedures.

Authorities say on Monday, the 37-year-old man got out of his handcuffs and kicked the car window out of a police car.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office identified him as Pernell Aio of Ewa Beach.

It’s the second time in a week that someone has managed to escape this way. On Tuesday, police answered questions about the most recent escape.

Concerned for his safety, family members brought Aio to the Kapolei police station Monday afternoon.

“Officers there said he was very cooperative, but unfortunately something happened I guess,” said deputy chief Dave Kajihiro.

HPD said officers did what they were supposed to: determine the man was a danger to himself or others, call the police psychologist who made a recommendation, and secure and take him to a hospital.

Even though Aio wasn’t under arrest, he was handcuffed, which police say is part of protocol. He was then placed in the back of a patrol car.

While Aio was being taken to the hospital on the H-1 Freeway, KHON2 learned he got out of his handcuffs and kicked the rear passenger window.

HPD pulled over near the Kunia off-ramp and Aio escaped.

“He tried to climb over the bridge. They did grab him, they did struggle with him, had him for seconds and unfortunately, they weren’t able to hang onto him, and the reason being he was a big male. He was over six feet, over 250 pounds,” Kajihiro said.

Aio fell 25 feet and later died.

Right now, HPD says responding officers did what they were supposed to and there was no wrongdoing.

But police say they’re investigating the incident to see how their policies can be improved.

“Anytime we have a critical incident like this, we take a look at the procedures and policies and equipment and how to better it, because we don’t want these things happening,” Kajihiro said.

But it did happen, just last week. A disorderly man was being taken from Iwilei to a hospital when he kicked out the back window of a patrol car. Police say he was not hurt.

“We do this every day, these type of cases with mental illness patients. We do this everyday,” Kajihiro said.

Monday’s incident has been classified as an unattended death and an administrative investigation has been opened, which is protocol.

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