Update: Escapee from correctional center caught in riverbed in Hilo; tried to steal 2 cars

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Updated at 4 p.m. on April 22 with new details:

After an 18-hour extensive manhunt on the Big Island, escaped and “considered dangerous” inmate Dyllan Paulo-Leslie was captured by Hawaiʻi Island police at 1:04 p.m. on Saturday in the riverbed of the Wailuku River, in the area behind Hilo High School.

Paulo-Leslie, who was awaiting trial for attempted murder and a slew of other charges, had escaped at about 7 p.m. on Friday from the Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center in Hilo.

Following his arrest, Paulo-Leslie was taken to the Hilo Medical Center for treatment of injuries he sustained as a result of scaling razor wire and jumping from the roof of the jail while escaping.

After receiving medical treatment, Paulo-Leslie will be returned to the Hawai’i Community Correctional Center where he has been incarcerated for incidents that occurred in November 2022. He is being held without bail on those charges.


The manhunt began when correctional center staff reported seeing Paulo-Leslie running down Waianuenue Avenue. South Hilo patrol officers and Area I Criminal Investigation Division personnel immediately began canvassing the area surrounding the jail, as well as the downtown Hilo area, until late Friday night, according to police.

Shortly before 8 a.m. on Saturday, an extensive air and ground search resumed after a resident of Reed’s Island in Hilo tipped police to a sighting of Paulo-Leslie in the area of Kaiulani Street.

Review of residential video surveillance also showed Paulo-Leslie attempting to steal two vehicles in the area. Paulo-Leslie now faces charges of first-degree escape and attempted vehicle theft.

The coordinated manhunt for Paulo-Leslie also involved the Hawai‘i Fire Department, the state Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement , the Department of Public Safety Sheriff Division, as well as assistance from the FBI and the United States Marshals Service.

“I would like to personally thank Hawai‘i County Police Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz, his officers, and our State Sheriffs for their excellent work in locating and arresting Paulo-Leslie,” Public Safety Director Tommy Johnson said in a news release. “I also want to thank the surrounding community for providing important tips that contributed towards this capture.”


How he escaped will be part of an internal investigation.     

Updated at 1:40 p.m. on April 22:

Hawai‘i Police Department reports that they have located and apprehended escapee Dyllan Paulo-Leslie. There is no threat to community at this time. 

Original post:

An escapee from Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center was seen this morning near Kaiulani Street near Reed’s Island area of Hilo.


Hawai‘i police warn the public there is heavy police activity in the area as they continue their search for Dylan Paulo-Leslie and to exercise caution and avoid the area if possible.

Paulo-Leslie, 27, of Kailua-Kona, escaped from the jail on Friday evening. Paulo-Leslie was in custody for attempted murder and terroristic threatening cases for a robbery that occurred in November 2022.

Paulo-Leslie was seen at the correctional center on Friday at 7 p.m. and was able to escape the facility by climbing an exterior fence. He was last seen wearing gray sweats and has multiple tattoos on his neck.

State Sheriffs and Hawaiʻi Police were immediately notified. Staff ordered an immediate headcount and lockdown. How he escaped will be part of an internal investigation, according to a news release from the state department of Public Safety, which oversees the correctional facility.

Paulo-Leslie is described as having a medium complexion, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 165 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

In November, a grand jury indicted Paulo-Leslie on 24 charges stemming from a Nov. 10 incident in Kona. He was allegedly involved in an armed robbery, car crash and shooting at a police officer.

Paulo-Leslie is considered dangerous. If anyone sees him or has information on his whereabouts, do not approach him, contact 911 or police dispatch at 808-935-3311 or sheriff dispatch at 808-586-1352.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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