Maui Marathon victim feels mercy for suspected drunk driver - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Maui Marathon victim feels mercy for suspected drunk driver

Rustyn Pajimola-Aiu Rustyn Pajimola-Aiu
KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The man accused of driving drunk into a crowd of people at the Maui Marathon before dawn Sunday in Kahului is now out of jail.

Rustyn Pajimola-Aiu, 22 posted the $1,200 bail after police say he struck a 63-year-old Kahului man and dragged him 30 feet.

Officers arrested Pajimola-Aiu at the scene and charged him with Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (Liquor).

However, many witnesses believe he should be charged with attempted murder instead.

Even the Maui County Department of the Prosecuting Attorney is now looking at a possible attempted murder case.

"I do think he should be charged with more than just DUI because that's just an unexplained reckless move," said Dustin Cabanilla.

Cabanilla was pounding his Tahitian drum just moments before the start of the race when he saw the 2014 white Acura sedan.

"It was coming straight toward me and I just jumped out of the way and at the same time...he basically ran my drum and chair over," Cabanilla said.

The car missed Cabanilla, but hit Donnie Cortez who was standing right behind him.

"If I didn't jump out of the way, yeah…I was thinking…I would have been the guy that was hit and I could have died or something serious would have happened," said Cabanilla.

Witnesses say Cortez flew onto the hood of the car and police say he was dragged 30 feet. But Cortez tells us he wasn't scared.

"I don't have any...like...that I'm going to die or something,” said Cortez.

But even as the prosecutors office considers more serious charges, Cortez feels mercy toward the driver.

"I don't think he's trying to kill me…no. I think he's just drunk or whatever he may be, crazy too much or maybe drugs because he don't know where he going," Cortez said.

Cortez received medical treatment at the scene. He says he only feels minor pain in his legs.

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