15-year term sought for man who struck officer with truck

WAILUKU – The prosecution is recommending a 15-year prison term for a Kihei man who pleaded no contest Thursday to reduced charges for allegedly driving a pickup truck toward police officers, hitting one officer, at Honolua Bay four years ago.

Austin Pierman, 22, had originally been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the July 18, 2010, incident.

That day, Lahaina patrol officers had responded to a 4:14 a.m. report that gunshots were fired at Punalau Beach, also known as “Windmills,” where young people had gathered for a large party.

According to police, officers had stopped a car leaving the area and its occupants pointed out a Toyota pickup truck as the one that shots had been fired from. Police said that officers tried to stop the truck, which was leaving the area, and it appeared to slow down before accelerating toward officers and hitting officer Erik Losvar.

Officers then fired shots at the truck, injuring three occupants including its driver, Pierman, who was 19 years old at the time. Pierman suffered a gunshot wound to his head behind his left ear, according to police.

Losvar was treated by paramedics at the scene.

As part of a plea agreement with the prosecution, Pierman pleaded no contest Thursday to two reduced counts of attempted first-degree assault, as well as two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening.

The prosecution agreed to dismiss charges of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and attempted first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer in exchange for Pierman’s pleas.

Under terms of the plea agreement, the prosecution is recommending prison terms totaling 15 years for Pierman. He can seek sentencing as a young adult offender to consecutive prison terms totaling nine years or to concurrent prison terms totaling 10 years.

Pierman is scheduled to be sentenced June 3 by 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza.

Pierman has been free on a $250,000 bail bond.