Suspect indicted on attempted assault, robbery charges after man’s death in Kalihi

Rimoni Pologa-Seiuli

A man arrested after the Memorial Day death of another man in Kalihi has been indicted by a grand jury.

Rimoni Pologa-Seiuli, 19, from Waipahu, was initially arrested for second-degree murder in the death of Riley Meade, 48, and released pending further investigation.

He was then rearrested and charged on June 2 with first-degree attempted assault.

On June 7, a grand jury indicted Pologa-Seiuli on charges of first-degree attempted assault and second-degree robbery. Both are Class B felonies.

His bail was confirmed at $100,000.

The Honolulu prosecutor’s office said the attempted assault charge was based on the medical examiner’s determination that the victim died of a heart attack and that none of the injuries he sustained in the fight were serious enough to cause or even contribute to his death.

The robbery charge resulted from an incident preceding Pologa-Seiuli’s fight with Meade, prosecutors said.

Rimoni Pologa-Seiuli
Rimoni Pologa-Seiuli

Pologa-Seiuli approached a man at a bus stop on N. School Street, near the intersection of Ahonui Street and Kamehameha IV Road, and allegedly tried to take the man’s backpack, threatening to punch him if he didn’t give it up. When the man refused to surrender the backpack, Pologa-Seiuli walked away and confronted Meade, who also was at the bus stop.

According to court documents, a witness saw the two men “throwing punches at each other,” and Meade appeared to be retreating while Pologa-Seiuli chased after him and continued to throw punches.

Another witness saw Pologa-Seiuli push Meade down in the middle of the street and kick him in the face. Meade then got up and tried to walk into the Aloha Island Mart on N. School Street where Pologa-Seiuli pushed him from behind, causing him to fall forward and hit his face onto the curb, where he remained motionless.

At 4:49 a.m., police officers found Meade in the mart’s parking lot. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition where he later died.

“The initial argument and altercation occurred down the street at another convenience store and the suspect gave chase to the victim, and they ended up here in the parking lot,” said Lt. Phillip Lavarias with the Honolulu Police Department.

Photo: Carl Ahlo
Photo: Carl Ahlo

Officers chased Pologa-Seiuli to the H-1 Gulick Avenue overpass bridge where he threatened to jump off, saying “It’s over for me. I ain’t going back to jail. Tell my daughter that I love her.”

After about a hour-long standoff, officers grabbed Pologa-Seiuli and eventually pulled him off the railing. He was then taken to the hospital.

Police shut down the westbound lanes of the H-1 Freeway during the incident and had an ambulance on standby.

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