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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:44 a.m., Monday, March 22, 2004

Two charged after circle-island chase, police say

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

Two men who police say led them on a two-hour chase Friday have been charged with armed robbery, auto theft and injuring a police officer.

Brandon Ikaika Molina, 22, and Frederick J. Morales, 25, were arraigned today in District Court. Molina is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail on three counts of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and auto theft. Morales, 25, is charged with first-degree robbery, auto theft, first-degree assault and three drug-related offenses, and his bail was set at $50,000.

A preliminary hearing for both men is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in District Court.

According to police reports filed in court today, Molina and Morales were driving a stolen silver 1997 Honda Civic that sped away from an officer at 10:54 a.m. Friday on Ho'okea Street in 'Aiea, where the pursuit started. Molina was identified by an officer as the driver of the stolen car.

The chase continued from Kamehameha Highway near McGrew Point to Red Hill and through Mapunapuna, where two collisions were reported, and east on Nimitz Highway and to Waikiki. The Civic made a U-turn on Hobron Lane, headed mauka on Atkinson Drive and turned right on Kap'iolani Boulevard, eventually reaching the H-1 Freeway westbound lanes from University Avenue.

The stolen car was involved in several collisions on the freeway near the King Street off-ramp, according to the police report.

The car took the Vineyard Boulevard exit, got onto the Pali Highway and proceeded through Kane'ohe. In Punalu'u, the car clipped a police officer directing traffic at a construction site and the officer fired five shots at the car. The officer was not seriously hurt. The assault charge stemmed from the injury to the officer, police said.

The stolen car was seen by an officer at Waimea Bay heading toward Hale'iwa at 12:17 p.m.

Then, police said, the two men tried to steal a pickup truck at the beach park in Hale'iwa.

At 12:18 p.m., police responded to the Joseph Leong Highway, where the two suspects allegedly flagged down a Dodge pickup truck and attacked the driver. Molina allegedly drove off in the truck. Morales fell off the fleeing pickup, which ran over his leg, police said.

Morales was arrested on the bypass road at 12:26 p.m. Molina was arrested in Waipahu at 12:40 p.m. after crashing the stolen truck in front of 94-925 Waipahu St.