Investigation launched after deputy sheriffs’ wrong-way chase on freeway

State to probe whether wrong-way chase on freeway was appropriate

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - During a recent chase, deputy sheriffs pursued a car going the wrong way on the freeway for a significant stretch, the state Department of Public Safety confirms.

That chase on Nov. 7 is now the subject of an internal probe.

A dash cam video of a portion of the chase, which started about 10:45 p.m., was provided to Hawaii News Now by a driver.

The driver said he was near the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport when he spotted the chase. In his dash cam video, you can spot headlights and flashing lights coming toward him.

One car goes by with a law enforcement vehicle close behind. Both were going westbound in the eastbound lanes of the H-1 Freeway.

On social media, another driver said the car being pursued clipped his vehicle head-on near Pearl City.

The chase stretched more than 15 miles going the wrong way, ending in Wahiawa.

And in the end the driver got away.

A Department of Public Safety said in a statement that the chase is under investigation to determine if it was appropriate. Deputies notified dispatch about the chase.

Honolulu police were notified by dispatch of the chase but did not join in or assist.

Tommy Aiu, a retired police officer and federal agent, said there are a number of factors to consider in a high-speed pursuit: “The nature of offense, time of day, public safety is of utmost consideration."

Sources say the chase started with a traffic stop near airport, where state deputy sheriffs have jurisdiction. The driver took off, and reportedly entered the freeway using the off-ramp.

Aiu said if it’s a major offense, law enforcement might determine a chase is appropriate.

"But if it’s anything less than that you got to consider whether or not that pursuit going the wrong way on the freeway would cause more harm to the public than not,” Aiu said.

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