Man arrested, charged with assault on officer

A Kula man was arrested Sunday night for illegal hunting and assault on a state enforcement officer who was injured when he was caught in the window of a vehicle as the driver sped away, police said.

Bail was set at $30,000 for Justin Pahia, 31. He was charged with second-degree assault, first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and leaving the scene of a collision, as well as hunting violations.

A state Department of Land and Natural Resources officer came across Pahia while patrolling the Kula Forest Reserve area and suspecting illegal hunting involving a vehicle, police said. The vehicle had pulled over and the officer had his arm on the driver’s side windowsill as he was about to talk to the driver when the driver accelerated while the officer’s arm was caught in the vehicle, police said.

The officer suffered lacerations, bruises and soreness.

He chased the vehicle before losing sight of it.

That occurred at about 7 p.m. Sunday.

Later that night, when the officer was near Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, he saw another truck speed by. Officers stopped the truck as it left the area, finding Pahia in the front passenger seat, police said.

Pahia had no hunting license and was in an area closed to hunting, police said.

Pahia reportedly had been using a poaching tactic of letting dogs run alongside a vehicle as a way of catching pigs or other game, police said.

Dogs are prohibited in the forest reserve unless they are crated, caged or leashed. Vehicles also are restricted in the reserve.