Two suspects have been charged after they allegedly led authorities on a high-speed chase with a stolen vehicle, then barricaded themselves inside a home on military housing in Central Oahu.
Gloria Kwon, 27, and Chaz Melchor, 35, were arrested at 12:45 a.m. Friday after an hours-long standoff in Helemano Military Reservation.
They were charged with unauthorized entry and vehicle theft. Their bails were set at $50,000 each, and both are expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
U.S. Army officials initially told us last Thursday night that the suspects’ vehicle came through the gate. They later issued a correction to say the chase ended along a back road, two suspects got out, and jumped a fence onto military property.
“The people in the vehicle fled and made their way to a home and somehow, they forced the people out so there’s not a hostage situation per se, but they took the home over, and so at this point right now, it’s a barricade situation where they’re in the house. HPD, military MPs, SWAT are all here trying to resolve the situation,” said Dennis Drake, public affairs, U.S. Army Hawaii.
Nearby residents tell us they were forced to evacuate at around 6:30 p.m. By then, Malohi Road was filled with military police and Honolulu police officers.
“There were these two snipers in my garage, and they just looked at me, and I just looked at them, and I was like okay bye guys. I’m just going to grab my stuff and leave. But yeah, it was super scary,” said neighbor Alicia Tripp.
KHON2 spoke with the family who was in the home when Kwon and Melchor allegedly barged in. A man, his pregnant wife, and their young daughter were home at the time.
The man tells us the suspects didn’t threaten them, and let them leave on their own through the back door.
His wife was taken to the hospital, because they thought she was about to give birth. It turned out to be a false alarm, and they were sent home early Friday morning.
Kwon and Melchor eventually surrendered and were arrested.
“I’m mainly nervous and scared that this could potentially happen again,” a resident told KHON2 Thursday night. “I think I speak for the majority of HMR when I say we don’t feel safe being an open base. I do understand that the MPs do their best to surveillance and guard us as much as possible so I’m not saying they don’t do their job, because they do. But we are considered an open base, which means people can just drive on, come on anytime they want to.
“I am just at this point glad that the family got out of the home when they did, that everyone is safe for the most part, except for the people that are still in the home,” she continued. “Mainly, I think I’m nervous, because this could have been anyone, and this could have gone way worse than it did. This could have been my family. This could have been my neighbors across the street. This could have been anyone at this point.”