Four HPD officers plead not guilty in connection with horrific crash

They're accused of failing to render aid in the crash, which happened during a police pursuit.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 2:54 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 5:22 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The four Honolulu police officers charged in connection with the Makaha police chase that left six people injured pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.

They all face felonies for allegedly pursuing a sedan without their lights and sirens on and then failing to render aid after the horrific September 2021 crash.

Officer Joshua Nahulu was charged with collisions involving death or serious bodily injury. He faces 10 years in prison.

While Officers Erik Smith, Jake Bartolome and Robert Lewis face counts of first-degree hindering prosecution, punishable by up to five years in prison, along with conspiracy to commit hindering prosecution. They face up to 5 years in prison if convicted.


The police chase in Makaha allegedly forced a white Honda off the road, leaving the driver and one of the teen passengers paralyzed.

The officers allegedly left the scene and later came back.

Court documents said in their police reports, the officers described the crash without including facts that lead to the collision.

“What really gets to me is not only did they cause this. Then they left. Let these kids what I call them laying on the ground not helping them not providing any type of aid and then coming back and pretending like what happened,” said Michael Stern, the attorney for four of the crash victims.

Following Thursday’s court hearing, the judge set the case for jury trial in May.

Separately, four passengers and their families will be splitting a $4.5 million settlement from the case.

Two lawsuits are still pending.