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Man accused of leaving collision scene held without bail

He is charged with attempted murder, reckless driving, among other charges

WAILUKU — A man is being held without bail after he was arrested twice for allegedly driving recklessly and leaving the scene of a collision while he was released on bail in an earlier case.

Marcus Ruggiero, 56, of Wailuku had his bail revoked Tuesday in a pending case where he is charged with attempted murder, reckless driving, second-degree resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle and third-degree criminal property damage.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges alleging he reversed toward a police officer who was responding to a report of a reckless driver Aug. 16, 2020, on Kula Highway near Omaopio Road.

Deputy Prosecutor Carson Tani asked for Ruggiero’s bail to be revoked, citing the defendant’s arrests in August and September.

“He is a danger to the community,” Tani said.

Police said Ruggiero was seen driving recklessly and into oncoming traffic on Honoapiilani Highway in Waikapu before he veered off the road and hit a jogger on the shoulder of the highway Sept. 25. When Ruggiero was stopped near the entrance to the La Perouse Bay parking lot, he also was charged with habitually driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

At the time, he had been released from jail after posting $26,000 bail following his arrest Aug. 9 after he allegedly fled the scene of a motor vehicle collision.

He also posted a $200,000 bail bond to be released from jail April 8 in the attempted-murder case.

Defense attorney Steven Slavitt asked for Ruggiero’s bail to remain at $200,000.

In his most recent case, Ruggiero reported that he didn’t see the jogger on the side of the road before accidentally hitting him. “Unfortunately, the jogger did have serious injuries,” Slavitt said. “It was nothing that was intentional.”

In granting the prosecution’s request and ordering that Ruggiero be held without bail, 2nd Circuit Judge Kelsey Kawano cited changes in circumstances that altered the prior assessment of the risk of danger to the community posed by Ruggiero because of his pending prosecution in his two newer cases.

He faces eight charges in one case and 11 charges in the other.

Kawano said Ruggiero violated conditions of his release on bail by his alleged illegal conduct in the two cases.

“The conduct in the three cases appears similar, repetitive and impulsive in nature, all three involving driving a vehicle and resisting police orders to stop,” Kawano said.

He characterized Ruggiero’s conduct as “extreme and dangerous.”

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

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