Asuncion enters not guilty plea in carjacking, chase


A 38-year-old Pahoa man pleaded not guilty Monday to charges stemming from a vehicle hijacking and chase last month that ended up in a police-involved shooting.

Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura ordered Riley Jason Asuncion to appear for trial at 9 a.m. Dec. 15.

Asuncion was indicted by a Hilo grand jury on Aug. 6 on three counts of attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening, unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle, auto theft, two counts of third-degree assault, fourth-degree theft, reckless driving, resisting an order to stop and driving without a license.

A bench warrant set Asuncion’s bail at $1,583,350. He remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

Asuncion allegedly kidnapped a woman in Hilo, hijacked her sport-utility vehicle, led police on a chase up Stainback Highway, and was shot while attempting to run over two officers.

The woman, who managed to escape from the SUV, and Asuncion sustained minor injuries in the July 21 incident.

The officers were not physically injured and were placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.