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Hilo man accused of assaulting officers

  • ANGELO PALERMO

The case of a 29-year-old Hilo man accused of assaulting two police officers Saturday night after allegedly refusing to pull over during a traffic stop will be heard in Hilo Circuit Court.

Angelo Joseph Palermo is scheduled for arraignment and plea at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 30 before Judge Henry Nakamoto. Palermo’s case was moved to the higher court after he waived a preliminary hearing Thursday in Hilo District Court.

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Palermo is charged with two counts of first-degree assault of a police officer, plus resisting arrest, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, resisting an order to stop and driving without a license and insurance.

The most severe charges, first-degree assault of a police officer and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug are Class C felonies punishable by up to five years imprisonment upon conviction.

According to court documents filed by police, at about 9:11 p.m., officers attempted, unsuccessfully, to stop a 2006 gold Nissan Sentra driven by Palermo after seeing the car traveling east without headlights on Kawailani Street. Police say Palermo turned left on Kanoelani Street and “began to accelerate at a high rate of speed … toward Puainako Street,” running a stop sign and a red light, got out of the car on Kekela Street and fled on foot.

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When police later located Palermo on Makaala Street, he refused to comply with officers, according to documents, allegedly punching and kicking Officer Jerome Duarte and kicking Officer Toni Marie Rosete. Documents state both officers suffered pain to their knees and abrasions to both hands.

A search of the sedan turned up a broken pipe and numerous packets containing residue of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, documents state. Palermo remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $34,250 bail.