Manhunt for robbery suspect forces three Windward schools into.. - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Manhunt for robbery suspect forces three Windward schools into lockdown

Roads were blocked while police searched for the robber. Roads were blocked while police searched for the robber.
Adrian Allan Adrian Allan
Capt. Nyle Dolera Capt. Nyle Dolera

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WINDWARD OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A police manhunt for a robbery suspect believed to be armed forced three Windward Oahu schools into lockdown Tuesday.

One of the affected schools -- Le Jardin Academy -- was scheduled to do a lockdown drill with its students and staff Wednesday. Instead, they faced a real-life test a day earlier.

Mid-day traffic at Castle Junction came to a standstill as police shut down Pali Highway, Kailua-bound. Overhead, the police chopper assisted ground units in searching Maunawili for a robbery suspect.

The hunt forced nearby Hawaii Pacific University, Trinity Christian School and Le Jardin Academy into lockdown.

"At that point, the school sounded the alarms," Adrian Allan, Le Jardin headmaster, said. "Within about 30, 40 seconds, all the students were indoors behind locked doors."

The drama began at the Reynolds Recycling Redemption Center in Kalama Valley. Investigators say two men, reportedly wearing black hoodies, held up a worker at gunpoint and fled in a black Mazda.

Police later located the car on the side of Auloa Road, along with four suspects. Officers arrested Pomaikai Ah Mook Sang, 20, Robert Berrios III, 32, John Andrew Collen, 27, and Terii Nakaahiki, 39, for investigation of first-degree robbery.

They say a fifth suspect -- a male -- took off into the bushes.

"Specialized (Services) Division officers went through the trails, to the end of each trail, came back," Capt. Nyle Dolera, Honolulu Police Department, said. "It's easy to hide in the brush. He could be off the trail or hiding for a while."

Le Jardin's parents, teachers and upper-level students were informed that the lockdown wasn't a drill.

"We didn't share much with the younger students," Allan said. "There's no point in frightening them. But I think our older students were aware that we had a situation."

Police eventually gave up the search and re-opened all roads.

"We did a thorough search as best as we could," Dolera said. "So the decision was made to open it up right now."

"Any level of concern regarding one guy still being out there?" this reporter asked.

"Well, of course, there's always a level of concern," Allan replied. "But, I mean, we asked the police what should we do. The police clearly indicated that they felt that the situation was now under control."

Reynolds Recycling says it's glad that none of its workers or customers was harmed.

"We applaud the quick work of HPD in apprehending a number of suspects involved in the robbery, and we hope that all involved will quickly receive justice," Bruce Iverson, Reynolds Recycling, said.

If you see a suspicious male in Maunawili or the surrounding areas, officers say you should not approach him. Instead, call police.

Copyright Hawaii News Now 2011. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly