Speed­ing, er­ratic driv­ing ob­served be­fore of­fi­cer’s crash

Waiehu man, 37, charged with flee­ing po­lice, other crimes

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE - Staff Writer By LILA FUJIMOTO Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfu­ji­moto@mauinews.com.

WAILUKU — A driver was seen speed­ing and driv­ing er­rat­i­cally to avoid be­ing stopped by a po­lice solo bike of­fi­cer be­fore a crash that in­jured the of­fi­cer Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon on Maui Vet­er­ans High­way, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Robert Fre­itas III, 37, of Waiehu drove through two gates and at speeds of more than 80 mph to flee from a sec­ond po­lice of­fi­cer be­fore be­ing lo­cated Wed­nes­day evening in former cane fields along Pulehu Road in Kahu­lui, ac­cord­ing to a dec­la­ra­tion filed in court.

The crash oc­curred at about 3:50 p.m. Wed­nes­day as the po­lice mo­tor­cy­cle of­fi­cer was do­ing speed­ing en­force­ment and try­ing to stop a north­bound car near Mile Marker 6 on Maui Vet­er­ans High­way.

Wit­nesses re­ported the car was speed­ing, swerved right onto the as­phalt shoul­der to avoid the ve­hi­cle in front of it and nearly hit a stalled car on the side of the road be­fore pulling back into traf­fic. The of­fi­cer was fol­low­ing closely be­hind the speed­ing car and couldn’t avoid hit­ting the rear of the stalled car, ac­cord­ing to wit­nesses.

Wit­nesses said the speed­ing car fled and turned onto Cen­tral Maui Base­yard Road, where an of­fi­cer saw the ve­hi­cle and tried to stop it, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

The of­fi­cer iden­ti­fied Fre­itas as the driver be­fore Fre­itas drove through a gate, then con­tin­ued on Maui Vet­er­ans High­way, po­lice said. The car reached speeds of more than 80 mph and was driven through an iron gate into the former cane fields be­fore Fre­itas ran, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

He was lo­cated in the fields shortly af­ter 7 p.m., po­lice re­ported.

Fre­itas was charged with two counts of first-de­gree re­sist­ing an or­der to stop a mo­tor ve­hi­cle, leav­ing the scene of a crash in­volv­ing sub­stan­tial bod­ily in­jury, third-de­gree crim­i­nal prop­erty dam­age, fourth-de­gree crim­i­nal prop­erty dam­age, reck­less driv­ing and driv­ing with­out a li­cense.

Bail was set at $2,600 for Fre­itas.

His ini­tial ap­pear­ance was resched­uled for to­day in Wailuku Dis­trict Court af­ter Fre­itas re­port­edly re­fused to leave the Maui Com­mu­nity Cor­rec­tional Cen­ter on Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

Fre­itas also was ar­rested on two war­rants to­tal­ing $200,000 for al­legedly vi­o­lat­ing con­di­tions of his re­lease on bail in two pend­ing 2nd Cir­cuit Court cases. In those cases, he has pleaded not guilty to three counts of sec­ond-de­gree as­sault, nine counts of vi­o­lat­ing an or­der for pro­tec­tion, three counts of abuse, fourth-de­gree theft and ha­rass­ment by stalk­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to court records, Fre­itas al­legedly ad­mit­ted us­ing oxy­codone and failed to check in. He de­nied the al­le­ga­tions when he ap­peared in 2nd Cir­cuit Court on Thurs­day morn­ing.

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