Bicyclist gets ticket after being hit by police car - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Bicyclist gets ticket after being hit by police car

Emily Palmer Emily Palmer

By Leland Kim - bio | email

KAILUA (KHNL) -  A car hits a bicyclist at a crosswalk in Kailua Wednesday morning.  It's the latest in a string of auto vs. pedestrian accidents on the island, but this one's a bit different.   It involved a patrol car driven by on-duty Honolulu police officer Ralstan Tanaka.    

The victim was going to work this morning at about 6:50 am when she was hit.  She wasn't seriously hurt, but there was something the officer did that added insult to injury.

This is Emily Palmer's daily commute to a veterinary clinic in Kailua.  But this morning, she never made it there.  She only got as far as the intersection of Ku'ulei Road and South Kainalu Drive.

"I was riding my bike to work down this road, stopped at the crosswalk and waited until I had the right of way, and rode my bike across and then got hit by a police officer," said Palmer, who moved to Hawaii from Northern California in December.  "He hit me on the side of the bike, hit my hip, I fell off the bike, rolled over a couple of times and that's about it."

Palmer says the officer asked her if she was okay, then questioned if her bicycle was registered.  When she said no, he said he's going to write her a ticket.

"I think I was still in shock so I really didn't know what to say," said Palmer.  "Now, I'm angry. Now, I'm angry. It seems like that should've been the last thing on his mind versus the first thing."

She suffered scrapes, cuts and bruises, but that's minor compared to a bruised ego.

"I don't think anything's going to happen to him and if I was driving the car and hit him walking across the street, I'm sure I'd probably be in jail and be in a lot of trouble."

Palmer hopes police officers are held accountable, and are not above the law.

"I want to make sure he gets punished the way everybody else would get punished if we hit a pedestrian," she said.  "And I want a new bike. It doesn't have to be a good bike, but one that's rideable would be nice."

Palmer says all the other police officers and fire fighters who helped her were very courteous.  The Honolulu Police Deparment opened what it calls a "major collision report."   It's launched a full investigation on the incident with Officer Tanaka.  Palmer encourages any witnesses to come forward.

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