HALEIWA (KHNL) - They were spotted driving a stolen pick-up. When they saw officers had them cornered, they made a desperate move. The police pursuit ended with two cars crashing, and an officer having to fire his weapon.
It happened on the Haleiwa Rainbow Bridge on Oahu's North Shore.
"We heard the sirens. Then we could hear the (H.P.D.) chopper coming in," Matt Blackburn, witness, said. "Right after the chopper, we heard the truck screech its brakes."
A stolen truck slams into a police vehicle, and a gunshot rings out. Matt Blackburn and his work crew were standing on barges below the bridge, as the drama unfolded right on top of them.
"The smoke, I mean, he hit his brakes so hard that you saw all the tires, smoke and everything come down," Blackburn said. "We heard the gunshot right after that."
A patrol sergeant's bullet pierced a tire, disabling the stolen pick-up. Officers arrested Dempsey Macaraeg, Brandon Rivela and April Ringor.
Investigators say it all started when two police cars trapped the trio on the narrow bridge.
"Investigation at this point reveals that the vehicle reversed, struck the officer's car and continued pushing the vehicle, the officer's car," Lt. Robert Cravalho, H.P.D. Internal Affairs, said.
Police say the officer whose car was rammed, and who ultimately fired that shot, was not injured. He will be placed on administrative leave, which is routine in this type of case.
But the day was anything but routine for Blackburn's bridge-repair crew.
"Two of our guys was up above and they actually saw it first-hand, what happened," he said. "And you could see they were shook up."
The sergeant who fired the shot has been with H.P.D. for 20 years.