The police officers union said the 2017 incident mentioned in a lawsuit against HPD and several officers was investigated back then, and the officers were all cleared. The lawsuit was filed by the wife of Police Sergeant Darren Cachola.
The lawsuit raises allegations of conspiracy, gross negligence, abuse and emotional distress all related to HPD’s handling of an incident between Cachola and his wife in 2017.
The lawsuit claims police were called to their home after Cachola strangled his wife. When police arrived they convinced her not to report it, and told her to write the following statement:
“I got into an argument with my husband, I have no injuries, thank you.”
Attorney Eric Seitz is representing Cachola’s wife.
“The client, for various reasons, was frightened and reluctant to file a lawsuit, which is why we’re filing it on virtually the last day before the statue of limitations runs out. Eventually she decided (filing the lawsuit) was something she had to do, and unfortunately, then the guy comes and assaults her again,” Seitz said.
SHOPO President Malcolm Lutu said the claims are false.
“In that case specific a complaint was generated back then and the officers were investigated and they were cleared,” Lutu said.
Roughly two hours after the lawsuit was filed, Cachola was arrested and charged for abuse of a family member and two counts of harassment. The charges are for an incident that happened Monday night and are unrelated to the allegations in the lawsuit.
Cachola was released after posting $1500 bail.
Seitz said Cachola’s wife has filed temporary restraining orders against Cachola in the past. Since Cachola is no longer in custody, Seitz said he is afraid what he might do.
“One of the things that we’re going to have to do is we’re going to have to ask for injunctive release. I was hoping that the guy would be in jail… I think she’s at risk and we’re going to have to take steps to protect her,” Seitz said.
Cachola’s arrest and the recent allegations comes five years after a video surfaced of Cachola fighting with his then girlfriend.
He was not arrested in that incident.
Cachola was fired from HPD, but reinstated after he filed a grievance with the union.
“He went through the grievance process and the arbitrator granted him back to working at the Honolulu Police Department…The arbitration decision is final…That opens the door for SHOPO to actually get these guys reinstated or get their days back,” Lutu explained.
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said Cachola’s recent arrest is disappointing.
“We hold them to a higher standard. We expect them to be someone that the community can look up to and be a role model for the community. Any time something like this does happen it’s a huge disappointment not only to me, but to the other officers…We will do the investigation and we will take the appropriate action whether it’s from the criminal side or from the administrative side,” Ballard said.
“The officers went out there and they did what they were supposed to do, and they took a swift action. Once we had the facts of the case that we needed an arrest was made and it was immediate.”
Ballard said that if Cachola is convicted, the consequences could be severe.
“We have to look at the circumstances around the case. But if it’s something that means that the officer can no longer be an officer, then they will be terminated. But I really can’t say until the investigation is done,” Ballard explained.
The violence against women act states anyone convicted of a violent crime cannot carry a fire arm, Cachola faces one charge of misdemeanor abuse of a household member, which would fall under this law.