2 Hilo men arrested for road incident involving gun

Albert Espaniola (left) and Hiram Kawelu (right).
Albert Espaniola (left) and Hiram Kawelu (right).

Two Hilo men are in police custody in connection with an incident over the weekend involving a car and a gun.

South Hilo patrol officers responded to a home on Laula Road in Hilo shortly after 2:30 p.m. Saturday to a report that two men in a Honda sedan had tried to run two acquaintances in a pickup truck off the road and had threatened one of them with a handgun twice.

Police say the first confrontation was on Kilauea Avenue south of Kawailani Street. The second was on Haihai Street at the intersection of Laula Road.

The driver of the truck, a 26-year-old Pepeekeo man, and his passenger, a 25-year-old Hilo man were not injured during the encounter.

On Monday, police arrested the car’s driver, identified as 25-year-old Hiram Kawelu III of Hilo. Later that day, police arrested the passenger, identified as 34-year-old Albert Espaniola, Jr. of Hilo. Both men were held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation.

On Wednesday, police charged Kawelu with second-degree reckless endangering, promoting a dangerous drug, driving with a revoked license and reckless driving. His bail was set at $13,000. Espaniola was charged with two counts of terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $20,000.

Both men remain in the cellblock pending their initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday.

Anyone who witnessed the incidents on Saturday is asked to contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or cdavies@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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