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Army soldier, 26, charged in connection with Wahiawa hit-and-run death

Honolulu Police (Cristo Vlahos/WikiCommons)
November 08, 2020

Prosecutors charged a 26-year-old U.S. Army soldier in connection with the deadly hit-and-run of a 73-year-old man in Wahiawa.

Joo Woon Park, who is assigned to the 25th Infanty Division, was charged with manslaughter, first-degree robbery and accidents involving death or serious bodily injury involving the death of Todd M. White of Haleiwa.

Park is being held without bail.

Honolulu police responded to a report of a motor vehicle collision on the southbound lanes of Kamehameha Highway between Ohai Street and Wilikina Drive on the morning of Oct. 26.

Police said the two men met at the Bank of Hawaii parking lot on California Avenue where White was to sell a gold chain and pendant to the suspect later identified as Park.

A dispute occurred between the two men when Park allegedly fled in a Toyota Camry with White’s jewelry without paying for it.

Police said White attempted to stop him by jumping on the hood of Park’s vehicle.

A Toyota Sienna driven by White’s wife followed Park’s vehicle and attempted to stop him when a collision occurred. Police said White was thrown to the ground upon impact.

He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office said the cause of death was blunt force injuries to the head.

A police affidavit said Park fled the scene and sold the chain and pendant at a pawn shop in Aiea for $8, 500.

A Lyft driver dropped him off at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport where he took a flight to California.

Police later recovered Park’s car in Aiea with damage to the driver’s side and rear bumper.

That night, military authorities detained him for being absent without official leave (AWOL ) after he was located at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Police arrested Park at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Saturday afternoon upon his arrival in Honolulu.


(c) 2020 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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