HONOLULU (KHON2) — Two assaults against law enforcement officers in the first degree and one in the second degree, a total of three assaults against police officers happened just days apart.
An officer was injured Friday while attempting to arrest a man while driving away under suspicion of a DUI. Then on Sunday, a man believed to be armed resisted arrest in Waikiki, causing moments of chaos on busy Kalakaua Avenue. Police said the suspect assaulted an officer while he was being put inside a patrol car.
HPD Captain Parker Bode said there have been about 35 assaults on his fellow officers so far this year.
“Over the last few months, our officers have been bit they’ve been head-butted,” Bode said. “They’ve been kicked, punched. And even over the last week, two of our officers have been dragged by vehicles.”
Some in the community praised HPD officers’ quick response during Sunday’s gun scare incident. The Waikiki Business Improvement District President Jennifer Nakayama said, “To see a potential active shooter situation get de-escalated so efficiently and effectively by HPD. It just goes to show what great work they really do.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, a suspect led officers on a foot chase and assaulted an officer while resisting arrest in the Pearlridge area.
In a statement, State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers President Robert Cavaco said these assaults are concerning for police officers.
“We are seeing a troubling trend where criminals feel emboldened to attack officers. The attacks are happening more frequently, and the attacks are more violent,” said Cavaco.
“The chronic understaffing our police departments face across the islands is making it worse. Our officers are understaffed and have to wait longer for backup. An attack on an officer is an attack on our society as a whole That is why there must be zero tolerance for any criminal suspect who attacks an officer. Each one of these violent criminals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Cavaco
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The Honolulu prosecutor’s office said it sees between 50 to 60 felony misdemeanor assaults against police officers each year. A spokesperson said all three suspects in the recent incidents have been charged.