Suspect in chase, crash pleads not guilty

  • Contributed photo

    Adrian Arrisgado

LIHUE — A Kapaa man who led police on a high-speed chase Friday morning that ended when he crashed into a utility pole on Kuhio Highway pleaded not guilty Tuesday to all of the eight charges against him, three of which are class C felonies — two counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and one count of promoting a dangerous drug.

Adrian Arrisgado, 19, was arrested along with three passengers in the car who were later released pending further investigation, according to a Kauai Police Department news release.

Arrisgado also faces charges stemming from his alleged involvement in another similar incident that occurred a couple days prior to his arrest.

According to county public information officials, police had been on the lookout for Arrisgado in connection with a Nov. 14 traffic collision in Kapaa involving a 2009 Kia Rio that had been reported missing from a home on Kapuna Road in Kilauea two days before. By the time police responded, the car’s occupants had fled the scene, but a preliminary investigation led police to suspect Arrisgado.

Police said the second incident began about 9 a.m. Friday after a bystander called to report a possibly stolen vehicle driving down Kuhio Highway near Inia Street in Kapaa.

When a patrol car attempted to pull over the Toyota Corolla Arrisgado was driving,“the vehicle then fled north at a high speed on Kuhio Highway, lost control and collided into a utility pole,” according to police.

“The outer casing shattered and the transformers fell on the ground. Liquid poured out. Sparks were flying,” said one man who saw the crash. Cleanup of the car wreck disrupted traffic for several hours and caused a power outage, but no serious injuries were reported.

Arrisgado appeared in court Tuesday with a small bruise under one eye to face a total of eight charges related to the two stolen and wrecked cars, which police allege he drove without a license. He is also charged with possession of an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine.

Fifth Circuit District Judge Michael Soong denied a request by Arrisgado’s defense attorney to excuse or reduce Arrisgado’s bail, which is set at $25,000. Soong said that based on the charges and a statement by the county prosecutor — a brief description of the high-speed pursuit, alleging that Arrisgado also fled the scene of the accident on foot — he believed “the defendant is at a high risk to either not appear or to recidivate.”

In addition to the felony auto theft and drug possession charges — each of the three counts carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison or a $10,000 fine — Arrisgado faces five misdemeanor charges: resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle, reckless driving, inattention to driving and two counts of driving without a license.

Arrisgado is scheduled to appear in court again Friday for a preliminary hearing.


Caleb Loehrer, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0441 or

  1. MisterM November 22, 2018 1:42 pm Reply

    We need chain gangs again for these punks. Pick up garbage, cut grass, break big rocks into small rocks 7 x 365. Keep em away from the public for a good long time.

  2. George Ho November 22, 2018 2:47 pm Reply


  3. sheeples November 22, 2018 7:12 pm Reply

    They seem to enjoy their 3 squares and yard time. Meanwhile there is plenty of rubbish piling up along the one 2 lane road that encircles the island. County workers need that big money and benefits, so it is best that the prisoners do not help out for free community service. There are supposedly guys for that. Maybe send them to the beaches to clean up the burnt pallet nails and dirty diapers? Just an idea.

  4. Charlie Chimknee November 22, 2018 10:34 pm Reply

    Aloha Kakou, Aloha Adrian,

    We know of young people before you who made almost identical mistakes one after the other, and they took this crazy dumb
    behavior and turned their whole life around.

    Get a good attorney, you are innocent until proven guilty, beat this case or beat it down so that you can work and study hard and become an attorney yourself, or another type professional or at the very least a really hard successful worker.

    Don’t let this get you down, you are young enough to become someone awesome…get the heck away from loser friends and become productive and worth a value to our community. Hui up with your family or friends for a down payment and buy a house and grow from there…

    You are not a loser you just lost the first couple of rounds. Now show us how strong and legal and successful you can be and make something of yourself. You have the face of success take advantage of it.

    You’re the man, Adrian…now show us…and your family, just how real you are and how real you can be.



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