HONOLULU (AP) — Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu has acknowledged leaving the scene of an accident after hitting a parked motorcycle without stopping in the parking lot of a shopping center.
Faaumu acknowledged the transgression on Wednesday. He said in a written statement to police that he did not realize he had hit the parked motorcycle on Nov. 7.
“I said, ‘No, I didn’t know I damaged the motorcycle or hit anything,’" Faaumu said. “I said, ‘I’m sorry that that happened.’ If I knew I did back up into the motorcycle and caused damage, I would stop. But I didn’t.”
But surveillance video from the parking lot that was posted online appears to show the police chief hitting the bike, looking back toward the motorcycle more than once, then leaving.
The police department said the police chief will remain on duty and that they will launch an investigation if warranted.
Maui Mayor Mike Victorino declined to comment about the incident in a press conference on Wednesday.
The owner of the bike, Rodel Jose, is a security guard at the shopping mall. He said he parked his 2019 Harley-Davidson motorcycle in a stall on the ground floor of the parking structure before he began his shift.
Jose said the surveillance video seems to affirm that Faaumu and his passenger knew the truck hit the motorcycle.
“You can see both of them looking back and kind of discussing, but none of the parties came out of the vehicle,” Jose said. “You can see both of the parties looking toward where my bike was. They just chose not to inform MPD.”
Jose said he is waiting for his insurance company to conduct an estimate on the damage, which he believes should be under $3,000. Police have classified the case as a minor motor vehicle collision.