Bail increased for driver accused of dragging moped rider nearly a mile

Mudong is accused of plowing into 32-year-old Jillian Croce, who was on her way to work on her moped in Waikapu on May 16th.
Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 6:41 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 31, 2023 at 10:18 PM HST
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WAIKAPU (HawaiiNewsNow) -Jermaine Mudong, 38, is back in custody after being on the run since May.

“The defendant presents an extreme flight risk in this situation. This whole case is about fleeing from responsibility,” said Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Anderson-Teshima.

Mudong is accused of plowing into Jillian Croce, 32, on Honoapiilani Highway in Waikapu on May 16th.

Tioni Acain was at work when she and others heard the collision. She said several people ran outside and started screaming at the driver to stop.

“We could see her, we could see her legs, and she was saying not to move,” Acain said.

Acain said the driver took off anyway.

She said her customer raced to his car, called 911, and chased the driver down for nearly 13 miles, all the way to Olowalu until police arrived.

“He followed him the whole way, was able to get police to get him as well, was amazing,” said Acain. “When he came back to get his credit card, the only thing I could do was thank him and tell him that he did such a great thing to help out this person that he doesn’t even know.”

Croce was flown to Oahu in critical condition. Her life has changed forever.

Mudong was arrested for first-degree negligent injury, collisions involving death or serious bodily injury and substantial injury, driving under the influence, and reckless driving.

However, Mudong was released pending further investigation, and prosecutors said he fled the country.

“Within two to three days after this incident, the defendant was on a flight to Guam, trying to get to Pohnpei,” Anderson-Teshima said.

Investigators found Mudong and extradited him back to Maui.

Mudong’s attorney Zachary Raidmae said that his client is indigent and asked that bail be kept at $100,000.

In the end, Judge Michelle Drewyer increased Mudong’s bail to $250,000.

“For someone to be so pathetic, so nonchalant about a decision that could have been changed had he just waited for emergency services to come, I think that them raising the bill is a great decision,” Acain said.

If you would like to help Jill in her recovery, click here.

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