Maui police chief admits to hit-and-run that damaged man’s motorcycle

Updated: Nov. 18, 2020 at 4:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu admitted Wednesday to leaving the scene of an accident in the parking lot of a shopping center without stopping.

The incident happened Nov. 7 in the parking lot of Kaahumanu Shopping Center.

In his written statement to police, Faaumu claimed he did not realize he had hit the parked motorcycle. But surveillance video from the mall, which was posted online, shows him slamming on the brakes after striking the bike and looking back more than once before leaving.

A passenger in Faaumu’s white Ford pickup truck also appeared to look back after the impact.

The Maui Police Department said Faaumu remains on regular duty. The agency estimated the damage to the vehicles at less than $3,000.

Meanwhile, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino declined to comment on the incident in a press availability Wednesday. He said he wants the investigation to take its course.

The owner of the bike is a security guard at the shopping center.

He told Hawaii News Now that he didn’t know his motorcycle was hit until four hours after it happened, when he noticed the damage and then watched the video.

“I noticed that my bike seemed out of place like it was pushed ... further into the parking stall and it was tilted a lot more,” he said.

He called Maui police and showed the officers the video.

He said the officers ran the license plate of the pickup but did not tell him it was a subsidized vehicle registered to their chief.

The bike’s owner does not accept Faaumu’s claim that he didn’t realize he hit the bike.

“The video clearly shows that he’s in the wrong,” he said.

The man said the chief should “do the right thing” and apologize and pay the ticket.

Hitting a parked vehicle with no one inside is a traffic infraction that comes with a $100 fine.

“You’re supposed to try to notify anybody nearby and stick around,” said attorney Dave Fanelli, who specializes in traffic cases.

Fanelli said leaving a note will suffice if the driver cannot find the owner of the vehicle that was struck.

The Maui Police Department confirmed that Faaumu left the scene without leaving a note or his information with the shopping center but said he was not cited because it happened on private property.

The video was posted to YouTube and a news release from MPD refers to that social media clip, giving the motorcycle owner the belief that the chief only came forward because it was uploaded..

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