Video: Hawaii mayoral candidate wants TASERs outlawed after fleeing arrest
Maui mayoral candidate Beau Hawkes executed a face plant in the street while attempting to elude an officer in an episode that went viral
By Timothy Hurley
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
WAILUKU, Hawaii — Maui mayoral candidate Beau Hawkes is vowing to outlaw the use of Tasers by police if he wins election this fall.
The reason: A police officer used a stun gun on Hawkes on Wednesday.
"It was brutal," he said.
A stunned Hawkes executed a face plant in the street Wednesday morning while attempting to elude an officer in an episode that was recorded on cellphone video that went viral on YouTube and Facebook.
Hawkes, 34, was arrested, released on $300 bail and given an Aug. 21 court date following the confrontation on Wells Street in Wailuku.
He is the second challenger to incumbent Mayor Alan Arakawa to have experienced a run-in with the law. Nelson Waikiki Jr. was jailed following his July 15 arrest after a mayoral debate in Makawao. Waikiki was arrested on a $100,000 cash-only warrant alleging he violated conditions of his release in a criminal case.
Another candidate, Neldon Mamuad, was disqualified because of problems with the way he filed financial disclosure statements.
Hawkes, owner of a small business called Maui Wowie, the maker of bamboo bongs, said Friday he hopes his confrontation serves as a wake-up call to a corrupt government system and a catalyst for change.
A Maui police spokesman was unavailable for comment.
The drama started earlier in the morning when an officer stopped Hawkes' truck on Haleakala Highway. He was cited for talking on his cellphone while driving as well as having no driver's license, no license plates, no registration and no safety inspection sticker.
Hawkes explained that as a private individual and devotee of the Declaration of Independence, he doesn't believe in those types of rules.
In any case, he was running late for a Maui County Council hearing on a proposed moratorium on genetically modified organisms, so he decided to ignore an order to turn off his engine and continue on his way. Hawkes said he noticed in his rearview mirror that the policeman followed him for about a half-mile in morning rush-hour traffic before pulling off the road.
In Wailuku he parked his car and then signed up to give testimony. With more than 60 names ahead of him, he knew he had some time, so he decided to run some errands and headed out to his truck.
That's when the confrontation occurred. On video a barefoot Hawkes is seen holding his hands aloft as an officer repeatedly orders him, "Put your hands behind your back. You're under arrest."
That's when Hawkes bolts down the street, yelling, "Come on, cop. You can't do this," with the officer in hot pursuit.
Hawkes then reverses course and curls around to the other side of the street, while the policeman grabs his Taser gun and yells twice, "You're gonna get tased."
After the officer shoots Taser prongs into Hawkes' back, he falls facedown, and another officer arrives to help handcuff Hawkes.
Following a visit to the emergency room, police booking and three hours of jail, Hawkes was bailed out. He then decided to check on the GMO hearing only to discover it was his turn to speak, which he did.
Hawkes said Friday he could still feel the Taser sensation in his body. Looking back on the events of that day, he said they actually seemed "divinely inspired."
"You couldn't write this stuff," he said.
He said he realizes there are some who think he's a bit crazy, but it's not true.
"I'm not a lunatic. I am a hippie. Jesus was a hippie. I walk barefoot all the time because it keeps me connected to the electromagnetic field in the earth."
Copyright 2014 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
McClatchy-Tribune News Service