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Hawaii v. DeCastro

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii
913 P.2d 558 (1996)


Robert DeCastro (defendant) was driving his employee, Wesley Damas, back to a warehouse when DeCastro saw Officer Derek Rodrigues driving recklessly in pursuit of another driver. Rodrigues pulled the driver over, and DeCastro pulled over behind Rodrigues’s police car to take down the license-plate number. Rodrigues approached the van and, according to DeCastro, began speaking aggressively to DeCastro and Damas. After taking DeCastro’s license and registration, Rodrigues told DeCastro to wait in the van while Rodrigues went back to his police car. DeCastro called 911 and reported that Rodrigues was harassing him, and asked if he could leave and return to the warehouse. The 911 operator told DeCastro that he could leave, and instructed him to call back when he returned to the warehouse. DeCastro drove away, and Rodrigues gave chase in his police car. Additional police cars joined the chase after Rodrigues called for backup, and DeCastro finally pulled over. DeCastro was subsequently arrested for resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle. At trial, DeCastro argued that he lacked the requisite intent to commit the crime because the 911 operator had given him permission to leave and he reasonably believed he had legal authorization to leave. The district court disagreed and convicted DeCastro, finding that a reasonable person in DeCastro’s position would not have believed he had legal authorization to leave the scene. DeCastro appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Burns, C.J.)

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