East Hawaii News

Police Say Escapees Assaulted Guard and Fled in Stolen Car

December 5, 2012, 11:06 AM HST
* Updated December 6, 11:32 AM
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***Updated at 7 p.m.***

Police continued their search tonight for two inmates who escaped this morning from Hawaii Community Correctional Center initially using a stolen car.

This modified Google Maps image shows the location of the last sighting of the escapees at Alahelenui Street and of Hawaii Community Correctional Center (click to enlarge). BIN graphic.

The escapees, Jarvis Higa and Ryan James Jeffries-Hamar, were last seen on foot at around noon in the Kaumana area of Hilo.

Both were barefoot and wearing grey sweat pants and white T-shirts.

Police tonight said that the two suspects escaped shortly before 10 a.m. after assaulting a 63-year-old correctional officer and threatening a civilian jail worker and then stealing her vehicle.

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Police said the jail guard was taken to Hilo Medical Center where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released. The 49-year-old civilian employee was not injured.

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As the escapees drove off in the stolen car, correctional officers attempted to follow them but lost sight of the vehicle.

A resident living in the area of Kukuau Street and the Mohouli Extension told police that the vehicle was observed heading up Kukuau Street in the Sunrise Ridge subdivision. The vehicle was found abandoned at the end of the street.

Kukuau Street is located several blocks away from the HCCC facility on Punahele Street.

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The Puainako Extension was closed between Komohana and Wilder Road for about two hours while police and HCCC personnel, assisted by a fire department helicopter, conducted an extensive manhunt for the fugitives.

Police later received a report that the two men had been seen near a home on the 800 block of Kaumana Drive in the vicinity of Alahelenui Street.

Responding officers found that a home there had been forcibly entered and an attempt was made to steal a vehicle parked at the residence.

A search was made of the area but police could not locate the pair.

Police have cautioned the public not to approach the two who should be considered dangerous, and to call 911 if they are spotted. Police said one or both of them may attempt to hitchhike to Kona.

Police man a roadblock set up at the intersection of Komohana Street and the Puainako Extension following this morning’s escape. Photo by J.E. Orozco.

Higa, 34, was in HCCC awaiting trial on a charge of attempted murder following an incident in July in which he allegedly shot at a man in the parking lot of the Orchid Manor condominium complex on Kalanianaole Avenue.

Higa is described as Japanese, 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. He has tattoos on his arms and chest.

Police said he may be armed.

Jeffries-Hamar, 31, is Caucasian, 5-foot-7 and 160 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.

He was serving time at HCCC for a parole violation and is also awaiting trial for an escape in August from the Hale Nani Correctional Facility in Hilo.

Jeffries-Hamar was previously arrested in 2007 and charged with a variety of offenses including burglary and car theft. At that time he was also charged with abuse of a family or household member, terroristic threatening and unlawful imprisonment in connection with an incident in which he allegedly choked a 30-year-old woman and threatened her with an object.

***Previously updated with additional information at 5:24 p.m., 2:04 p.m., 1:21 p.m., 12:04 p.m. and 11:27 a.m.***

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