The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai’i recognized South Hilo Patrol Officer Ryan Domingo as “Officer of the Month” for June and Puna Patrol Officer Corina Apuakehau as “Officer of the Month” for July. Both officers were honored Thursday (July 26) at a luncheon ceremony at Coqui’s Hideaway in Hilo.
Domingo was honored for administering life-saving first aid to a victim of gunshot wounds. On May 13, police responded to a disturbance involving gunshots in Hilo. At the scene, officers quickly identified and arrested a suspect, and Domingo found a woman lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. He immediately applied pressure to her wounds to control the bleeding.
Sergeant Allan Watanabe, who nominated Domingo for the honor, said the victim was in “excruciating pain” and thought she would die. “Knowing this, Officer Domingo demonstrated an awe-inspiring ‘bedside manner’ for 20 minutes by keeping her awake, calm and as comfortable as possible until the ambulance arrived,” Watanabe wrote. “The conversation with the victim was about the things in life to live for and not to give up.” Domingo also obtained important evidence by recording the conversation.
The suspect was charged with attempted murder and burglary. The gunshot victim is expected to make a full recovery.
“Every officer at the scene, including myself, believes that Officer Domingo’s actions played a key role in the victim’s survival,” Watanabe wrote. “Nothing is more honorable to our profession than saving the lives of others.”
Apuakehau was recognized for what Sergeant Juergen Canda described as “her diligence and exemplary police work” that led to the arrest of a meth trafficker, the recovery of drugs, drug paraphernalia and cash, and the service of a bench warrant.
On June 1, while Apuakehau was on patrol, she encountered a suspicious man in an abandoned structure. When she confronted him and asked him to identify himself, he gave a false name. At this point, Apuakehau recognized him as someone police had previously arrested on drug charges and who was wanted on a bench warrant. She arrested him on the warrant. Concealed in his waistband were a glass smoking pipe with drug residue, a resealable plastic bag containing a distributable amount of “ice” and a large amount of cash proceeds from drug dealing.
The Vice Section took over the investigation and determined that the suspect had been distributing a significant amount of ice on neighborhood streets. His arrest aided them greatly in their ongoing investigations.
As “Officer of the Month,” Domingo and Apuakehau are each eligible for “Officer of the Year.”
The East Hawai’i “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of Hilo.