Big Island escapees strangled, punched officer, documents state - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Big Island escapees strangled, punched officer, documents state

Jarvis Higa in court Dec. 10 Jarvis Higa in court Dec. 10
Police have caught Jarvis Higa Police have caught Jarvis Higa
Ryan Jeffries-Hamar is still at large Ryan Jeffries-Hamar is still at large

Three days after his dramatic capture, Big Island prison escapee Jarvis Higa appeared in court in Hilo, facing new charges of assault, robbery and kidnapping.

District Judge David Kuwahara today denied bail for Higa, who was led away from the courtroom in shackles.

"From all indications of his record, he poses a serious threat of fleeing and he poses a risk to the community," Kuwahara said.

The 35-year-old Higa and another inmate -- Ryan James Jeffries-Hamar -- escaped from the Hawaii Community Correctional Center on Wednesday after allegedly overpowering an unarmed guard.

Higa was caught Friday in the Ocean View subdivision.

Court records filed over the weekend provide new details on how Higa and Jeffries-Hamar escaped.

Authorities say Higa grabbed the prison guard around the neck, choked him and forced him into a bathroom near the prison's law library.

There, Jeffries Hamar punched the man several times and took his prison keys, the filings say.

The guard suffered injuries to his eye and his neck.

Higa and Jeffries-Hamar also forcibly kicked open a gate that leads from the law library at the correctional facility to the parking lot. Officials say the cost to repair the gate will exceed $1,000.

Authorities say the two escaped by taking the car keys from another prison staffer and drove off in her 2004 Toyota Corolla.

Prosecutors asked that Higa remain under custody, citing his extensive criminal record.

"He has a violent history -- of convictions for robbery in the second degree an a conviction for terroristic threatening in the first degree and he has a conviction for assault in the third degree," said Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Malate

Higa was awaiting trial for several offenses -- including attempted murder and a firearms violation -- when he broke out of prison last week.

He has been transported from the Big Island to Oahu where he is being held at Halawa Prison.

Meanwhile, Jeffries-Hamar remains at large and is still considered dangerous.

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