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Man who fled from police sentenced to year in jail

Officers reported that he wielded a knife when confronted

WAILUKU — A one-year jail term was ordered for a man who drove over curbs and ran a red light to flee before wielding a kitchen knife in a confrontation with police officers in a Waikapu neighborhood last year.

Roland Campos, 65, was taken into custody Tuesday to serve the rest of the jail term as part of five years’ probation.

The prosecution had sought the jail sentence, with Deputy Prosecutor Randy Oyama saying Campos’ conduct that night was “extreme.”

Campos has an “extensive criminal history,” including convictions for two counts of second-degree theft, second-degree forgery, second-degree assault and first- and third-degree criminal property damage, Oyama said.

Campos asked to be given credit for 39 days he spent in jail before being released on a $28,000 bail bond last year.

He sought intensive outpatient drug treatment after realizing he had relapsed on drugs and also completed anger management treatment, said Deputy Public Defender Jeffrey Wolfenbarger.

He said Campos had done “everything he can to try to get back on the right track.”

He has been taking care of his mother, following the death of his father last year, Wolfenbarger said.

“I know I made a big mistake,” Campos said in court.

He had pleaded no contest to first-degree terroristic threatening, first-degree resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle and abuse by violating a warning citation. Other charges were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.

He was arrested June 6, 2020, after police went to arrest Campos, who was being sought for violating a warning citation to stay away from a family member and her residence on West Waiko Road after a domestic disturbance. Officers who approached Campos reported he pointed a knife.

Campos was Tasered twice before being arrested, Wolfenbarger said. He said review of police body camera footage showed Campos holding the knife “like a book.”

Campos wasn’t lunging at the officers to try to attack them but was trying to get away, Wolfenbarger said.

Earlier that evening, Campos was driving a gold pickup truck that jumped curbs in the Foodland Kehalani parking lot before turning onto Kuikahi Drive and running a red light at Honoapiilani Highway, according to police.

Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill commended the police officers, including officers Thomas Hifo and Thomas Simmonds and Sgt. Mary-Lee Sagawinit, for bringing the situation under control.

“He wasn’t running away to slice a sausage or slice a piece of bread to make a sandwich,” Cahill said.

He said Campos’ brother reported he suspected that Campos was running away from police because he had drugs in the car.

While letters from family members asked for Campos to remain out of jail so he could take care of his mother, Cahill said “those letters are just a continuation of 40 years of enabling Mr. Campos to use substances.”

Campos’ criminal history dates to 1977. Court records show he completed the Maui Drug Court program of treatment and supervision in 2013 and was sentenced the following year to a five-year prison term for drug possession.

Cahill said other family members should step up to help Campos’ mother.

“They shouldn’t be writing letters asking for the public to allow a criminal like Mr. Campos to take care of his mother because they want to keep him out of jail,” Cahill said. “That’s just enabling. It allows Mr. Campos to continue to use drugs and commit crimes.”

Over the years, the state has probably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Campos, the judge said.

While Campos had done well at times, “periods of success are not success,” Cahill said.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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