Court documents detail stolen car confrontation

Published On: Mar 28 2014 08:32:00 PM HST

Darryl Higgins

HONOLULU -

A 31-year-old Ewa Beach man charged with assault on a police officer, attempted assault, auto theft and drug charges made his first appearance in court on Friday.

Darryl Higgins is accused of driving a stolen vehicle and injuring two police officers.

The incident happened at around 4:14 p.m. on Tuesday near the intersection of South King Street and Punahou Street.

An unmarked police car with three plainclothes officers was driving in the mauka direction on Kalakaua Avenue in the left lane and stopped at the traffic light at Philip Street.   A silver Honda Civic hatchback was driving in the right lane on Kalakaua Avenue at a high rate of speed, according to court documents, and stopped at the red light.

Officers saw Higgins driving the car and a 27-year-old woman in the passenger seat.

The car screeched away taking a right turn on Philip Street.  Officers were unable to get the correct license plate number due to an extremely dirty license plate, according to court documents.  The police car was not in a place to chase the vehicle, so the police car drove up Kalakaua Avenue and took a right turn onto King Street.

The officers noticed that the silver Honda pulled up into the Tesoro gas station at Punahou Street and King Street.  The Honda parked at a pump and the police car pulled up right behind the Honda.

The officers confirmed that the Honda was a stolen vehicle.

After Higgins took two steps out of the vehicle, the three plainclothes officers made their approach.  Firearms were drawn in a low ready position and they said, "Police, get on the ground," according to court documents.

One of the officers approached the driver's side, another officer approached the passenger door and the third officer stood behind the stolen vehicle.

Higgins dove back into the driver's seat.  At the same time, one of the officers tried to grab Higgins' shoulder with his left hand and the momentum took him onto Higgins' lap with his legs hanging out of the open driver's side door.

Higgins and the officer were struggling to gain control of the gear shift.  Higgins was able to get the gear shift to the drive position, but the officer on him was able to hit the gear shift into neutral.  The officer still had a firearm in his right hand.  The officer decided to put the firearm on the floor behind the driver seat so he could use two hands and control the gear shift.

The second officer near the passenger door pointed a firearm at Higgins and yelled at him to get out of the vehicle.  Court documents say the officer could not get a clear shot at Higgins.

Higgins was able to get the gear shift into the drive position and the silver Honda bolted off with the officer's legs dangling out of the driver's side door.

The right arm of the third officer was injured because he was holding onto Higgins when the Honda took off.

The Honda drove for about 150 feet towards Punahou Street, just missing a utility pole.  The officer on top of Higgins saw that the vehicle was approaching a white pickup truck stopped at the intersection.  The officer then wrapped his left arm around Higgins' neck and grabbed onto Higgins' head bracing for impact.

The silver Honda broadsided the truck.  At about the same time, a Kia van turned right from King Street onto Punahou Street and hit the driver's side door of the silver Honda causing the driver's side door to slam into the officer.  Before the impact, the officer was able to get his legs into the car saving his legs from being crushed.

In documents revealed in court, the officer said, "After realizing I was not dead, I continued to yell verbal commands at Higgins to 'Stop' all of which was ignored."

The Honda was lodged underneath the truck and Higgins tried to accelerate the Honda in hopes of getting it free.  Fearing that Higgins would dislodge the stolen vehicle, the officer on Higgins delivered closed hand punches to Higgins' head and face area.

Higgins then turned toward the front passenger seat and began to kick and fling his arms wildly while climbing over the woman in the passenger seat.  Higgins was also grabbing at the floor board at her feet.  Higgins then turned toward the officer on the driver's seat and struck him several times in the face and then started reaching for the floor board at the woman's feet again.

Fearing that Higgins might be going for a concealed weapon under the passenger seat, the officer in the driver's compartment delivered more closed hand strikes to the head and face area, according to court papers.

Other officers arrived at the scene and Higgins was pulled out of the vehicle.  Police say Higgins was face down in the prone position and continued to resist and refused to place his hands to the rear of his back.

The officer who was in the stolen vehicle during the crash used more closed handed strikes to the large muscle groups of Higgins' shoulder  while telling him to place his hands behind his back and stop resisting.

Higgins was then detained with handcuffs.

One officer suffered multiple contusions to the left side of his body, including his left arm and lower back.  He also suffered a contusion to his right elbow, left knee and foot as well as the facial area.  The officer reported having extreme pain after the incident.

Another officer had severe pain in his right elbow area.

Higgins was treated for injuries to his head, face and body.  Police say some of the injuries were from the crash and during his resistance.  He was hospitalized in serious condition.

The woman in the passenger seat suffered a broken ankle and fainted while being treated by paramedics.  The woman also had minor lacerations to her neck, shoulder and chest areas.  She was hospitalized in serious condition.

The driver and the passenger in the truck were not injured.  The woman driving the Kia van complained about pain to her neck, back and legs.  Police say she also had trouble breathing and walking.

At the time of the incident, the surrounding area was very busy with pedestrians, particularly young people from Washington Middle School nearby.  Traffic was busy on all of the surrounding streets since it was the beginning of the afternoon rush hour, according to police.  There were also numerous people at the gas station and the nearby Jack In The Box.

Although Higgins was initially arrested for attempted murder, he was formally charged with assault on a police officer, attempted assault, auto theft and drug charges.

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