Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Arakawa released to raise bail in car death

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

A state judge today placed a retired Honolulu police officer charged with manslaughter on supervised release for seven days to arrange for $100,000 bail.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins prohibited Clyde Arakawa from consuming or possessing alcohol and driving during his release. Arakawa's driver's license was revoked for a year after the Oct. 7 collision at the intersection of Pali Highway and School Street that killed 19-year-old Dana Ambrose.

Former HPD officer Clyde Arakawa, far left, appeared at a hearing this morning where a judge released him pending his trial on a manslaughter charge. Prosecutor Peter Carlisle, right, argued Arakawa is a threat to public safety because of his history of alcohol abuse.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

Arakawa, 49, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and negligent homicide after the accident.

Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle unsuccessfully argued that while Arakawa is not a serious flight risk, he is a threat to safety because of his history of alcohol abuse.

Perkins said risk to the community was reduced by prohibiting Arakawa from drinking and driving.

The judge previously had granted Arakawa a reduction in bail from $250,000 to $100,000.

Arakawa was indicted last week by an O'ahu grand jury. The indictment was unsealed today after Arakawa appeared in court.

The retired officer has been living in Oregon.

Carlisle said the indictment was sealed to ensure Arakawa's return to Hawai'i. If he had learned the charge was manslaughter rather than negligent homicide and driving under the influence, with a $250,000 bail, there was a concern he might flee, Carlisle said.

Michael Ostendorp, Arakawa's attorney, has given the court and prosecutor a private address where his client will be staying during his release.

First-degree negligent homicide carries a maximum 10-year term, while man slaughter carries a maximum of 20 years.

Arakawa has maintained that he was not impaired by drinking at the time of the accident, that he had the right of way when he entered the intersection and that Ambrose ran a red light.

But the lawyer for Ambrose's family, which sued the former officer over the death, has said witnesses saw Arakawa run a red light.