Sunday | April 26, 2015
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Search continues for second HCCC escapee

Hawaii Community Correctional Center escapee Ryan Jeffries-Hamar remains at large and likely has traveled to West Hawaii following a brazen escape Wednesday from the Hilo jail.

Hawaii Police Department Area II Criminal Investigations Section Capt. Chad Basque said police believe that Jeffries-Hamar, 31, who has ties to the Kona area, has reached West Hawaii. Police are continuing task force efforts to apprehend him with officers working in both Hilo and Kona.

Police will continue to work with the community in “an effort to safely locate and apprehend” Jeffries-Hamar. He asked that anyone who sees Jeffries-Hamar, or who has information on his whereabouts, to immediately call 911.

Jeffries-Hamar, also known as Ryan James Hamar and Ryan James Jeffries, is described as Caucasian, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes, according to police. He is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

Jeffries-Hamar and counterpart Jarvis N. Higa, 35, escaped Wednesday after they overpowered and “beat up” a corrections officer in the facility’s law library and took a librarian’s car keys. They then kicked a security gate compromising it enough that they were able to slip out, climbed a fence and took the woman’s car, which was later found abandoned.

The 63-year-old corrections officer was injured and taken to Hilo Medical Center where he was treated for nonlifethreatening injuries. The 49-year-old civilian librarian was uninjured.

HPD officers and a state sheriff’s deputy Friday evening apprehended Higa at a Hawaiian Ocean View Estates home, said Department of Public Safety Spokeswoman Toni Schwartz. He remains in police custody.

Higa was arrested at about 8:15 p.m. after the law enforcement team earlier in the evening received a tip that Higa may be at the Ka‘u home. They located him there, and after Higa tried to flee, he was taken into custody, Schwartz said.

Saturday afternoon, police charge Higa with first-degree escape, kidnapping, second-degree assault, second-degree robbery, third-degree criminal property damage and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. He is being held without bail at Hilo police cellblock and will be arraigned on Monday in Hilo District Court.

Jeffries-Hamar is one of more than a dozen Big Islanders identified by police to have been involved in a South Kona crime spree earlier this year. He was in custody following a Sept. 8 arrest that netted him an escape charge after he allegedly failed to check in with a work furlough release program.

He has 10 criminal convictions in Hawaii dating back to 2005, according to court records. They include felony convictions for burglary, theft and auto theft.

Higa is awaiting trial in connection with attempted murder case in Hilo, according to police.

HCCC was placed on lockdown on Wednesday and Thursday, Schwartz said. The law library remains closed to inmates.