An autopsy was conducted Wednesday on the body of man who died in Big Island police custody. The medical examiner has deferred the cause of death pending toxicology and histology results.
Police say an officer made a traffic stop at a gas station in a shopping center on Palani Road. The passenger of the vehicle was 39-year-old Randall Hatori, who died Tuesday in the course of the arrest. Hatori was wanted for assault and violating temporary restraining orders, and fled on foot.
Officers say the patrol man pursued Hatori on foot and a struggle ensued while trying to apprehend him. The officer used his taser in an attempt to subdue Hatori, but the struggle continued. Other officers responded to the scene and assisted in restraining Hatori. After Hatori was placed in handcuffs, he became unresponsive.
Fire officials on scene attempted resuscitation and then transported Hatori to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m.
Detectives recovered 7.3 grams of methamphetamine at the scene of the struggle.
Police officials are investigating the incident as a coroner’s inquest and an assault on a police officer.