Attorney blames police officer’s grudge for Makaha crash that left 6 injured

An attorney blames a long-running grudge by an HPD officer for the Makaha crash that injured six people last month.
Updated: Oct. 4, 2021 at 5:41 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An attorney is blaming a long-running grudge by an HPD officer for the Makaha crash that seriously injured six people last month.

Witnesses and passengers have claimed the crash was caused by an illegal police chase.

Michael Stern, attorney for four of the passengers in the car, said an officer who allegedly took part in the chase had an ongoing feud with the driver ― Jonaven Perkins-Sinipati. “I found out it was an officer that has been having a dispute with Jonaven for about three years,” Stern said.

On the night of the crash, Stern said the driver and the passengers were at the beach when the officer who had an alleged feud with Perkins-Sinipati told them to leave.

After they left the beach, the attorney said his clients told him they were followed by a black SUV whose headlights and siren lights were turned off. “So they started to go a little bit faster and the cars behind them started to go a lot faster. The first car hit them in the back,” he said.

Perkins-Sinipati and a 14-year-old Dayten Gouveia were paralyzed in the crash. Three other passengers were seriously injured, Stern said.

“Two of them have broken spines among other breaks. They’re not in good shape. One minor ― his eye was split in half and was sewed back together,” he said.

Stern plans to file a lawsuit over the crash for his four clients. Gouveia’s family has already sued.

Stern claims the chase is part of a pattern of intimidation.

Last week, Perkins-Sinipati’s sister ― who also is the mother of one of the injured passengers ― said she was stopped by five police officers.

The woman posted video of the stop on social media, alleging police were trying to intimidate her.

The HPD said the three officers allegedly involved in the chase remain on restricted duty.

Criminal and administrative investigations are still pending.

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