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Clerical error results in bail reduction for theft suspect

A Kurtistown man charged with burglary, vehicle theft and driving into a police vehicle had his bail reduced Friday, thanks to improperly filed paperwork.

Dominick Gavin Paul Gonzado, 26, was arrested Tuesday morning after a vehicle that was reported stolen earlier this month was seen being driven in Hawaiian Paradise Park. When officers approached the vehicle to investigate, the driver reportedly sped toward the police vehicle, striking it and then colliding with a stone wall.

The vehicle then apparently became disabled, and the driver, Gonzado, was arrested without subsequent incident. Nobody was injured during the encounter.

During the investigation, police detectives linked Gonzado to a burglary that took place Nov. 10 at a Hawaiian Paradise Park residence, as well as a series of incidents in Hilo where gasoline was stolen from vehicles.

A search of the stolen vehicle also allegedly found property that was reported stolen after a Nov. 22 burglary in Papaaloa as well as a glass smoking pipe with some residue inside.

Gonzado was charged with three counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, two counts of first-degree criminal property damage, two counts of unauthorized entry into a vehicle, two counts of burglary during an emergency period, two counts of driving without a valid license, and one count each of first-degree theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia and resisting an order to stop. Gonzado’s bail was set at $196,000.

Gonzado pleaded not guilty at his initial court appearance Friday. However, an apparent clerical error led to his bail being reduced by nearly $80,000.

When reviewing the Judicial Determination of Probable Cause for seven of Gonzado’s charges – specifically, the first-degree theft, unlicensed driving, property damage and two of the unauthorized control of a vehicle charges — judge Darien Nagata discovered a discrepancy on the document that listed the time of Gonzado’s arrest as more than 48 hours before the filing of the document.

Because that time discrepancy meant the document had not been filed in a timely fashion, Nagata released Gonzado on his own recognizance regarding those seven charges, and reduced his bail to $118,000. However, the court still found probable cause on the remaining charges.

Defense attorney Ivan Van Leer submitted a motion to allow Gonzado’s supervised release, but prosecuting attorney Nathan Wersal argued that Gonzado’s charges indicate that he constitutes a threat to public safety. He added that several of the eight victims in the case — two police officers and six civilians — are already questioning the court’s judgment, given that Gonzado was granted supervised release in a similar criminal case earlier this month, only for him to fail to appear for a scheduled court hearing.

Nagata denied the motion for supervised release. Gonzado’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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