Grand jury to consider criminal charges against officers involved in near-fatal Makaha crash

The illegal chase in Makaha left a teenager paralyzed and a driver with serious brain injuries.
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 6:59 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 8:58 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu grand jury will consider criminal charges against several HPD officers who allegedly took part in an illegal chase in Makaha last September.

The incident left a teenager paralyzed and a driver with serious brain injuries, said officials.

On the night of the car chase, surveillance cameras show a dark SUV chasing a white Honda sedan at high speed on Farrington Highway.

Moments later, two other HPD vehicles followed behind.

None of the police vehicles had their emergency lights activated in the footage.

Retired Deputy Chief John McCarthy said the officers acted improperly.

“There’s definitely a policy violation because the policy clearly states that officers should pursue with lights and siren,” said McCarthy. “You’re not an emergency vehicle unless you’re running with lights and siren.”

Dayten Gouveia, who was 14 years old at the time, was paralyzed in the crash. HNN has learned that Gouveia is recovering but will require millions of dollars in medical treatment for the rest of his life.

The driver, Jonaven Perkins-Sinapati, suffered severe brain damage.

Another surveillance camera video taken shortly after the crash from a nearby 7-Eleven store shows two HPD vehicles next to each other before taking off in the opposite directions.

According to witnesses, the officers left the crash without rendering aid and returned to the scene after EMS arrived.

HPD said all three officers have been placed on restrictive duty and that an administrative investigation is still ongoing. The agency completed a separate criminal investigation and turned it over prosecutors.

Sources say the city Prosecutor’s Office is wrapping up their investigation.

Attorney Myles Breiner said criminal charges are warranted. “The public needs to know that there’s accountability for police officers who violate the law,” said Breiner.

“Otherwise people lose faith in the system and they start to believe that corruption is endemic.”

The grand jury will have to decide whether the alleged illegal chase caused the accident. They could also pursue charges against the officers for leaving the scene.

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