The Molokai Planning Commission observed a moment of silence today at its regular meeting to honor Molokai boy Eric Fontes, a Honolulu Police Department officer who was killed last night during a routine traffic stop.
MoPC Commissioner Lori Buchanan asked for the commemoration at the opening of today’s noontime meeting. Fontes, 45, was a 1984 graduate of Molokai High School. Fontes has a mother, Lottie Burrows, a brother Aaron and three half-brothers who still live on Molokai.
Buchanan said he was “a good officer.” She described him as the type of officer who would try to talk to a person doing something wrong instead of just making an arrest. She described the family as “nice” and “church-going.”
According to reports, Fontes and officer Herman (Sam) Scanlan, both out of the Kapolei station, stopped a 1997 tan Jeep Cherokee with an expired vehicle registration decal in the left Waianae-bound lane of Farrington Highway just before the Ko Olina off-ramp at about 10:30 p.m.
A 2003 tan Toyota pick-up truck, driven by a 21-year-old Waianae man, hit an unmarked police vehicle, the two police officers and a blue and white police car on the median, police said. Traffic investigators said Fontes was hit in the back by the suspect’s vehicle, which then hit the two police cars and Scanlan. Scanlan is in stable condition with leg and other injuries.
Officers arrested the pick-up truck driver at the scene for negligent homicide and negligent injuries. The suspect has no prior criminal record. Alcohol is not a factor; but speed and drug use may be factors in the accident, traffic investigators said.
The last Honolulu police officer killed was Harry Coelho, a 20-year veteran who died while trying to break up a fight at Haleiwa Beach Park on May 20, 2007. He was 48.