Exclusive: driver accused in deadly hit & run involving bicyclist expresses remorse

Arnel Abuluyan
Arnel Abuluyan
Roland Kuroda
Roland Kuroda

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - KHNL News 8 was the only news team there, as a man accused in a high-profile, hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist was released from Honolulu police custody.

Shortly after 12 noon Monday, Arnel Abuluyan was freed pending further investigation, which is a standard move in vehicular homicide cases.

Seeing sunlight for the first time since his arrest Saturday, Arnel Abuluyan reaches for his cigarettes upon his release from the Honolulu police cellblock.

"I haven't smoked for two days. I mean, I have anxiety. That place is small," the suspect said, referring to his cell. "This is my first time to be arrested."

The 37-year-old is accused of crashing his van into a bicyclist near Dole Plantation, and then fleeing the scene. The collision happened July 22nd.

The bicyclist, David Aldridge II, 18, was killed.

"Can you tell us why you left? I mean, were you scared? What happened at the scene?" this reporter asked.

"I don't think I should talk about that," Abuluyan said. "Even I don't know what happened."

The white van investigators seized as evidence belongs to Abbey Carpet, where Abuluyan works as an installer. Police found it at Kuroda Auto Body in Waipio.

Shop owner Roland Kuroda, who's trained in identifying cars involved in pedestrian-type crashes, says he's surprised because police earlier said the suspect vehicle was possibly a red flatbed truck.

"It didn't dawn on me that the vehicle that the HPD impounded was this particular vehicle, was suspected because everybody is looking for a red or orange truck," he said.

Kuroda describes the damage to the white van as moderate. He says his shop didn't do any repair work.

"We're very, very fortunate that, you know, whatever evidence that the department might want to look at, we're glad we didn't start on the vehicle," he said. "At least, the vehicle is intact."

Back at police headquarters, the suspect expresses remorse.

"I feel bad," Abuluyan said. "I feel real bad to the family, you know, and the boy."

Abbey Carpet did not respond to our request for comment Monday.