Woman who drove at officer sentenced
By John Burnett
HILO, Hawai'i — A Pahoa woman who grazed a police officer with a Toyota sedan in May has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Rina Shimizu, 29, pleaded guilty in July to second-degree attempted promotion of a dangerous drug, second-degree reckless endangering and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug. The original list of charges included first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and first-degree assault on a police officer.
"You put people at risk," Circuit Judge Glenn Hara told Shimizu Tuesday. "I believe that a danger to the community exists as long as you are in the community."
Shimizu, a repeat offender, will have to serve a minimum of three years and four months before she will be eligible for parole. Her attorney, Deputy Public Defender Melody Parker, argued for a 10-year term with a minimum sentence of 20 months, while Deputy Prosecutor Jason Skier touted the lengthier term.
On May 1, 2008, Shimizu was in her car at Kahakai Boulevard and Moana Street in Hawaiian Beaches when officers involved in a drug sting operation attempted to serve a warrant to search her Toyota.
Shimizu drove at one officer, Detective Rio Amon-Wilkins, who avoided the car. Officer Peter Fernandez was grazed by car, suffering abrasions to an arm.
Police fired shots into the car; neither Shimizu nor her passenger, 31-year-old Peleaulani Mahi, were injured.