Ex-officer Arakawa likely to contest $100,000 bail
Former Honolulu police officer Clyde Arakawa is scheduled to make his first court appearance this morning following his O'ahu grand jury indictment recently on a manslaughter charge stemming from a fatal accident last fall.
Arakawa, 49, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and negligent homicide after the car he was driving collided with a vehicle driven by Dana Ambrose, 19, on Oct. 7, at the intersection of Pali Highway and School Street.
Ambrose, of Hale'iwa, died from injuries suffered in the collision.
Michael Ostendorp, Arakawa's lawyer, is expected to take up the matter of Arakawa's bail, which was set at $100,000, at the court hearing this morning.
He likely will ask that Arakawa be placed on "supervised release," or turned over to a sponsor, while awaiting trial.
Lt. Greg Poole, of the Honolulu Police Department's Internal Affairs Division, said the case was turned over to the city prosecutor's office as a negligent homicide, which is often the case when suspected drunken drivers cause fatal collisions.
"Apparently, the prosecutors thought there was enough evidence to go with the more serious charge of manslaughter," Poole said.
First-degree negligent homicide carries a maximum 10-year term, while manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.
Arakawa has maintained that he was not alcohol-impaired 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.
The Honolulu Police Department was criticized for "courtesies" that Police Chief Lee Donohue admitted were extended to Arakawa by other officers following the crash. Arakawa has since retired.
Poole said Arakawa probably will be arraigned on the charge in the next several days.