Police nab 2 escapees in Waimanalo; 3rd man still on the run

It took the state nearly 12 hours to alert the public about 3 escapees
Published: Apr. 19, 2017 at 12:55 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 20, 2017 at 5:59 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii Department of Public Safety)
(Image: Hawaii Department of Public Safety)

WAIAWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two Waiawa Correctional Facility inmates who escaped Tuesday have been arrested after a traffic stop in Waimanalo.

A third escapee remains on the run.

The three failed to appear at a headcount around 9 p.m. Tuesday, the state Department of Public Safety said.

Officials didn't inform the public about the escapes until about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Authorities captured Kekoa Aspera, 25, and Kamaka Villegas, 34.

The third suspect, Brian Aquino, 31, is still on the run. He's serving time for first-degree burglary. Aquino is described as being approximately 5-foot-9, and weighing 280 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

On Wednesday, Hawaii News Now didn't notice an increased police presence in the community near the facility, but officials confirmed there were several teams from the sheriff's department looking for the three men.

Law enforcement is also still trying to figure out how the inmates escaped.

Aquino and Aspera -- both serving time for burglary -- had only been at Waiawa for a few weeks.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, several residents raised concerns about the amount of time it took for the state to get the word out about the escapes.

"It's absolutely ridiculous," said resident Bailey Oliveria. "People need to be on alert. They need to be able to look out. We've been doing errands all day we could've been on the lookout for them."

DPS officials say they notified HPD immediately after the inmates went missing, but officials held off on alerting the public until a search of the 192-acre property was completed early Wednesday morning.

"This is a minimum-security facility so the inmates there are entrusted with a certain amount of trust," said state Rep. Gregg Takayama, whose district includes Waiawa.

DPS said there is an established boundary on the property, surrounded by forest, and that frequent headcounts are conducted throughout the day and night to deter inmates from attempting to escape. The dorm-style campus houses nearly 300 low risk inmates.

"It's difficult to assess and predict personal behavior," Takayama said. "I do think they should review each of those records and find out if a mistake was made."

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or state sheriffs at 586-1352.

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