Mental evaluation scheduled for Apo

LIHU’E — A jury trial for a Waimea man accused of ramming a Kaua’i Police Department squad car with his vehicle was supposed to start yesterday.

Now, it will be at least three months before Tavis Apo’s next court appearance, likely to discuss the outcome of his mental examination and whether or not he is stable enough to go to trial.

Apo will be undergoing a mental examination by three doctors. His attorney, Guy Matsunaga, asked Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe for the examination to be done.

Watanabe granted the request.

Apo is confined at Kauai Community Correctional Center in Wailua in lieu of $75,000 bail. He faces three counts of terroristic threatening, one count of assaulting a police officer, one count of criminal property damage, one count of reckless endangering, and one count of driving under the influence of drugs.

Apo, 31, was shot by KPD officer Randy Ledesma in September near the Lihu’e police headquarters on Ka’ana Street, after he brandished weapons and ignored police orders to surrender his weapons and submit to police arrest, according to county sources.

Ledesma was in a police car, and had blocked Apo’s sport-utility vehicle. Apo allegedly rammed the police car with his SUV, and was attempting to do it again when he was shot, according to county sources.

One officer was injured slightly in the encounter. Police first responded when an anonymous caller spotted Apo driving eratically and brandishing a weapon while driving. They converged, boxing Apo in right in front of the new KPD headquarters building off Kapule Highway not far from Vidinha Stadium.

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