A standoff between a corrections officer and Honolulu police Wednesday night has resurrected debate on the need for an alternate route to Komo Mai Drive.
According to HPD, officers blocked Komo Mai Drive from 7:15 p.m. to just before 10 p.m. after Damon Pavao, 49, began firing a weapon outside his residence on Waimano Home Road.
Pavao was arrested on charges of reckless endangering and taken into custody without incident.
For residents of Pacific Palisades, Komo Mai Drive is the only way in and out of the subdivision, which sits on the side of the Ko'olau Mountains dividing Windward and Leeward Oahu.
“Our son was coming home from scouting, and they couldn't make it in,” said resident Bernard Cabral. “We were sitting at the bus stop just waiting.”
Although Wednesday’s incident was a major inconvenience for hundreds of Pacific Palisades residents, it paled in comparison to a hostage standoff in October of 1998 that lasted 22 hours.
“I ended up taking a nap on the wall underneath the three crosses at the church, hoping nobody would see me, and of course that was the picture that the (newspaper) ran the next day,” said Mike Fujita, vice president of the Pacific Palisades Community Association.
After the lengthy incident, some fed-up and frustrated residents demanded a new road. The city promptly informed residents they would have to bear the cost on their own, since an alternate route was not a public safety issue and would only serve Pacific Palisades.
“The association feels that anything as far as a second road would be extremely cost prohibitive,” said Fujita. “We have never done a detailed study on who wants it and who doesn't want it.”
According to Chris Takashige, the city’s deputy director of Design and Construction, an alternate route to Komo Mai Drive would require extensive planning and design, as well as environmental studies.