KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Evette Lopes said her boyfriend Kyen Knowles was just leaving the Burger King restaurant in Kalihi and was heading home Wednesday afternoon when he took a left turn and wound up on Waterhouse Street.
That's the tiny backstreet where the 36-year Knowles was found dead, pinned underneath his car.
Police initially called it a traffic accident, saying the car reversed on him. But late Thursday, they reclassified the case as an unattended death. Lopes said she suspects foul play.
Lopes said she was on the phone with her boyfriend moments before he died and that he had gotten into a verbal dispute with several men at the Burger King parking lot.
"He was being followed, harassed ... he wouldn't go down that street for no reason," said Lopes, who implored Knowles to come home and not get involved.
"I wished it was all a bad dream pretty much. He didn't deserve to go so soon."
People at the scene said they heard a bang just before they came out of their homes to see Knowles pinned beneath the car.
'"I rushed back over there I was ready to lift the car, then the guy who called 911 was talking to a cop operator and he was telling me no," said Kalihi resident Michael Berwite, who said the 911 operator told people there that lifting the car could cause further damage to the victim.
"It made me felt guilty walking away. You know we're all out there watching him dying. He was still alive. He wasn't dead."
Knowles, who served in the Navy, worked for the masons union, Lopes said. He is survived by three children and his father Alan.
"He was a good guy, helpful and caring. He helped me with his family. I helped him with his family," said Lopes.
"We were going back to Georgia. He was going to buy us a house. I did the paper work a couple days ago. I don't know."