Blog: Murder suspect caught after escaping custody at Circuit Court

Joint news conference on escaped inmate
Escaped Inmate Teddy Munet
Escaped Inmate Teddy Munet

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - We are converting this story into a live blog to continue to provide the late-breaking details as they develop.

Update 9:05 p.m.

A few details are emerging about the capture of Teddy Munet. According to police, a couple in the area called officers saying they had seen Munet. (It was among several sightings that police responded to throughout the day and evening.) Officers located him shortly afterward on Waimanu Street, just a few blocks makai of McKinley High School.

Police also said that Munet had managed to slip out of the handcuffs he was wearing when he escaped, but was still wearing the belly chain.

Munet is expected to remain at the Honolulu Police cellblock overnight. He now faces an escape charge, which carries a five-year prison sentence.

Update 7:35 p.m.

BREAKING: Police just issued the following statement to Hawaii News Now.

Escapee Teddy Munet has been captured in downtown Honolulu. HPD units responding to a 9-1-1 call located the suspect around 7:25 PM in the area of 1133 Waimanu Street and arrested him without incident.

Update 6:57 p.m.

Hawaii News Now's team of reporters are filing in-depth stories on several angles of this developing situation:

Escaped Prisoner: How Teddy Munet escaped - Jim Mendoza reportsEscaped Prisoner: The manhunt - Mileka Lincoln reportsEscaped Prisoner: Murder victim's family fears escapee - Tim Sakahara reportsEscaped Prisoner: Schools go on lockdown - Ben Gutierrez reports

We will continue to update this blog as soon as new information becomes available.

Update 4:14 p.m.

The following news release from CrimeStoppers was just sent to the newsroom:

"CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department are continuing to search for Teddy Munet. Munet escaped from State custody today at 8:05 a.m. Munet has several tattoos including a skull wearing a baseball cap on the left side of his neck, marijuana leaf on chest, "NSB" on lower abdomen, and "GRAMZ" on mid-abdomen."

Update 3:51 p.m.

The escapee is still on the loose, and police are responding to numerous tips across the Honolulu area.

At least seven preschools, which close around 5:30 p.m., are still on lockdown, but are allowing parents to pick up their children.

  • Makiki Christian Church Preschool
  • Stepping Stones Academy
  • Olivet Baptist Preschool
  • St. Clement's School
  • The Early Education Center
  • Kawaiahao Preschool
  • Harris Preschool

The remaining schools that were affected by the police search let their students go at or around the normally scheduled dismissal time.

Update 2:45 p.m.

According to State Sheriff Shawn Tsuha, there have been various sightings of Munet, but only one confirmed sighting at 11 a.m. on Reed Lane near Circuit Court.  The State Sheriff describes another sighting as "75 percent" confirmed.  That report claims Munet was heading toward Diamond Head after the Reed Lane incident.

"He may have access to a firearm or he may not.  In any case, consider him armed and dangerous," State Sheriff Tsuha told Hawaii News Now.

Munet was not wearing leg shackles at the time of his escape, and when asked why, the State Sheriff said he did not have an explanation.  A murder suspect typically is wearing leg shackles in court, he says. 

Update 2:22 p.m.

"We are going to review our procedures to prevent something like this from happening again," said Ted Sakai, Public Safety Director.

Teddy Munet is the second inmate to escape from custody at Circuit Court in Honolulu in less than four months.  The first escapee was not caught until the following day.

"This is an old building, and it really wasn't built for today's security," Sakai said.

Munet is considered extremely dangerous.  If you see him, officials say you should not try to apprehend him yourself.  Call 911.

Update 2:10 p.m.

At a press briefing, Public Safety Director Ted Sakai said Munet was with eight correctional officers when he escaped Wednesday morning.  Munet was due in court in front of a jury on a charge of second degree murder, he says.

Following court procedure, he was wearing civilian clothing -- shorts and a black hooded sweatshirt -- to avoid influencing the jury, Sakai says.  Munet was also chained around his torso.

Munet ran away during the transport.  One officer chased after him, but the suspect had too much of a head start and the officer lost sight of him, according to Sakai.

Update 1:52 p.m.

Students at Lunalilo Elementary School have been released, a little over an hour after typical Wednesday dismissal time.  All students and faculty are safe, school officials say.

The Honolulu Police Department and The Department of Public Safety are planning a live update on their search this afternoon.  Hawaii News Now will bring you the updates as soon as we get them.

Update 1:25 p.m.

Students are being held past normal school hours at Lunalilo Elementary, which is under lockdown.  Hawaii News Now's web crew on the scene says school typically lets out at 12:45 p.m., but students are not being allowed to leave.

Update 1:07 p.m.

"We believe he's a very dangerous suspect.  We're making every effort to get him back in custody," says HPD Major Richard Robinson.

HPD has dispatched 25 plain clothes officers and other officers to hunt for Teddy Munet.  There have been several possible sightings since his escape.  Police are concentrating their efforts on the Kakaako and Ala Moana areas. 

Update 12:50 p.m.

Several police on ATVs are combing Ala Moana Beach Park in search of the escapee.

We are moving our list of confirmed schools on lockdown to this location:  List of schools on lockdown as police search for escapee

Update 12:39 p.m.

Police tell Hawaii News Now that suspect, Teddy Munet, may have broken free from the restraints that were wrapped around his torso.  Police describe their search area as Metro Honolulu.

Update 12:23 p.m.

As a precaution, Montessori Community School and St. Clement's School in Makiki are added to the confirmed list of schools on lockdown.

Police have also begun searching the Kewalo Basin area.

Update 12:14 p.m.

Police are searching homeless tents in Kakaako for escaped inmate, Teddy Munet.

Update 11:59 a.m.

The Early Education Center and Hâlau Kû Mâna Public Charter School are now under lockdown.  The suspect is still on the loose, and students and faculty at all schools are safe, police say.

Update 11:45 a.m.

Callers to the Hawaii News Now newsroom report helicopter activity over the Punchbowl and Makiki area.  Police say the last confirmed sighting of Munet was around 11 a.m. near Kakaako Park.

Update 11:29 a.m.

Multiple schools in the downtown Honolulu area are on lockdown.  Hawaii News Now reporters on the scene confirm the following schools on lockdown:  Voyager Charter School, Myron B. Thompson Academy, Kawaiahao Preschool, Stevenson Middle School, KCAA Preschools of Hawaii Muriel Preschool, Central Union Preschool and Washington Middle School.

More schools may be affected as police continue their search for Teddy Munet.

Update 11:18 a.m.

Police have confirmed that one of the attempted carjackings is related to the escaped inmate.  The second report was an unrelated incident.

Update 11:00 a.m.

Sources report at least two incidents of a man attempting to carjack women in downtown Honolulu since the inmate escape.

The first incident occurred on Reed Lane, but Hawaii News Now is told the woman screamed, and the suspect ran away.

The second attempt happened near Makaloa and Sheridan Streets.  Police are responding to a call about a man trying to pull a female out of a car.

Original post:

An inmate who is awaiting trial on second-degree murder charges in connection with a 2012 killing escaped from custody during transportation at Hawaii State Circuit Court on Wednesday, according to the Hawaii Department of Public Safety.

An all-points-bulletin has been issued for Teddy Q. Munet, 29, who escaped from custody at approximately 8:10 a.m. during transport from OCCC, police say. Munet is 5'11" and is wearing a black hoodie, which he may be using to hide his belly chain and handcuffs.

Munet was last seen in the downtown area of Honolulu near the Capitol. Anyone who sees him or has any information on Munet should call 911 immediately.

According to a Hawaii News Now reporter at the scene, Voyager Charter School, Myron B. Thompson Academy and Kawaiha'o Preschool have all been placed in lock down as law enforcement officials conduct a manhunt for the suspect.

Last July, Munet was arrested five days after he allegedly shot and killed Fallau in the back of the neck near Kapaa Quarry Road.

At the time of the killing, Munet had recently been released from prison and was reportedly staying in an empty tool shed on Fallau's family property in Kaneohe.

This is not the first time an inmate has escaped from Circuit Court. Last November, Darius Ikaika Puni-Mau escaped in the middle of the day from a booth at the back of the courthouse interview room while waiting for his attorney.

In that escape, Puni-Mau pushed through a ceiling tile, crawled 40 feet in an air conditioning vent and dropped into a custodian's closet. He was caught the next day at the Pali Safeway.

We will have more information on this developing story as it becomes available.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.