Autopsy on Hatori Not Yet Conclusive, Police Say
***Updated 10:31 a.m.***
Police Capt. Chad Basque, head of the Kona Criminal Investigations Division, this morning told Big Island Now that toxicology testing required by the medical examiner for the autopsy of Randall Hatori will likely take 6-8 weeks to complete.
He said the histology testing being required involves examination of tissue as well as medical history.
Basque said he couldn’t comment on how many times the Taser was used on Hatori, or whether a choke hold was employed by officers during their restraint of the fugitive.
He also clarified that the methamphetamine recovered by detectives at the scene of the struggle was not found on Hatori’s person but very close by.
Basque also confirmed that the traffic stop occurred at the Tesoro gas station at the Kona Coast Shopping Center on Palani Road, but the chase that ensued occurred across the street toward the Lanihau Center.
Posted 9:57 a.m.:
A medical examiner who performed an autopsy Wednesday on a man who died in police custody the day before has declined to identify the cause of death pending further testing, police said late Wednesday afternoon.
The deferral was made pending the results of toxicology testing as well as histology, or tissue, examination.
Police said in a statement Tuesday that Randall Hatori, the man who died, was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by police shortly after midnight at a Kailua-Kona gas station.
Hatori fled the scene, pursued by a police officer.
Initially unable to restrain Hatori, who was reportedly described as 5-foot-9 and weighing 250 pounds, the officer deployed his Taser stun gun in an attempt to subdue him, police said late Wednesday.
That was the first time that police acknowledged use of a Taser during Hatori’s apprehension.
Other officers responding to the scene assisted in restraining Hatori, police said.
After being placed in handcuffs, Hatori became unresponsive, police said.
Fire department paramedics attempted unsuccessfully to resuscitate him, and he was transported to Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m.
Police said detectives recovered 7.3 grams of methamphetamine at the scene of the struggle.
The Kona Criminal Investigations Section continues to investigate the incident as a coroner’s inquest and as an assault on a police officer.
The department’s Office of Professional Standards is also conducting an administrative investigation, standard practice in any death involving police.
Ernest Ricky Alvarez, the driver of the vehicle that was stopped, remains confined at the Kona cellblock pending investigation of possible drug charges. He was initially arrested on an outstanding $10,000 bench warrant for contempt of court.
Police said at the time of the stop, Hatori was wanted for assault and for violating temporary restraining orders.
The police statement issued this morning did not provide any additional details as to how Hatori was restrained.
Capt. Chad Basque, head of the Kona Criminal Investigations Division, could not immediately be reached for further comment on the case.