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MPD: Theft suspect gets into head-on crash; then struck by pickup while evading police

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Jonathan Pico. PC: Maui Police Department file May 2021

Maui police arrested a man who allegedly stole a vehicle and got into a head-on crash that forced the closure of the Maui Veterans Highway early Tuesday morning. The man is also accused of striking a responding officer in the face, and running into traffic in an attempt to evade police, where he was then struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Jonathan Pico, 29, of Kaunakakai, Moloka’i, was transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room for treatment. He has since been charged with second degree robbery, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, and first degree assault on a police officer.

The incident was reported at 4:13 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

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Police initially responded to a report of an adult male walking within the roadway of the Maui Veterans Highway.

Upon arrival, a 53-year-old Kīhei man said he was driving to work in his White 2004 Dodge Caravan, and noticed a male pedestrian walking along the edge of the highway near Mile 6.

Upon passing the pedestrian, later identified as Pico, the driver “heard what sounded like a collision with the passenger-side mirror and immediately pulled over,” according to police reports.

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The driver exited the vehicle and tells police that Pico stated he was not injured and it was his backpack that was struck. Police say Pico then allegedly punched the driver in the face, knocking him to the ground, before jumping into the Caravan and fleeing north on Maui Veterans Highway.

At approximately 4:24 a.m., Wailuku officers responded to a separate report of a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Mehameha Loop and Maui Veterans Highway.   A preliminary police investigation revealed a White Dodge Caravan had crossed the median and collided head-on into a Silver 2016 Nissan Rogue SUV before striking a traffic signal and ending down an embankment in the brush area.

Officers located Pico near the intersection of Hansen Road and Maui Veterans Highway. In attempting to detain Pico, police say he became physically combative, striking an officer in the face and refusing to comply with the officer’s directions.  

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The officer deployed his taser, striking Pico; however, Pico was able to remove the taser probes.  Police say Pico then ran into traffic on the highway, where he was struck by a Grey 2019 Toyota Tacoma.  Pico was transported to the hospital.

The officer and all others involved in the incident sustained minor injuries and were treated and released on the scene.  

Pico remained in police custody at last report with bail set at $7,000.

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