WAILUKU - Maui Community Correctional Center officials are conducting an internal investigation into how a prisoner escaped from corrections officers while attending his brother's funeral, as a search continued Monday for the escapee.
Harry Kahaleauki, 38, is considered dangerous and should be approached with extreme caution, according to a news release from the Maui Police Department. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Wailuku jail on 14 charges, including stealing a van and one automated teller machine and trying to break into two other ATM machines last month.
Two uniformed adult corrections officers escorted Kahaleauki to the funeral Saturday morning at Ballard Family Mortuary in Kahului, said
MCCC Warden Alan Nouchi. He said a family member had asked that Kahaleauki be allowed to attend the visitation, which began at 9 a.m. before the 11 a.m. funeral.
Kahaleauki was shackled with leg irons and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit when he escaped at about 9:20 a.m.
"We're doing an internal investigation as to how he got away," Nouchi said.
He declined to provide other details about the escape.
Kahaleauki was seen running from the area of the funeral home, police said.
Police and state sheriff's deputies are searching for Kahaleauki, said Lt. John Jakubczak of the police Criminal Investigation Division.
He said no confirmed sightings of the escapee had been reported Monday.
Kahaleauki is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone who sees Kahaleauki or who has information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911, the police Criminal Investigation Division at 244-6425 or Maui Crime Stoppers at 242-6966.
Callers to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous and are given a code number. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of people responsible for felony crimes and the capture of felony fugitives.
According to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, Kahaleauki has 43 prior convictions for crimes including firearms offenses, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, drug possession, first-degree criminal property damage, harassment by stalking, first-degree bail jumping, third-degree assault, abuse and violating an order for protection.
He was arrested April 20 in Lahaina on the latest charges, which include the theft of an ATM in Maalaea, attempted thefts of ATMs in Lahaina and Kahana, the burglary of a Lahaina business and the burglary of a Kaanapali apartment while the residents were asleep.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto @mauinews.com.