Police have charged a 32-year-old South Hilo patrol officer with misdemeanor assault for an incident that occurred on duty.
Officer Daniel Kuwabara turned himself in Saturday evening at the Hilo police station and was charged with third-degree assault for an alleged attack on a minor boy early Friday morning at the Salvation Army Interim Home in Hilo.
Kuwabara is free after posting $500 bail and is scheduled to make his initial appearance at 1:30 p.m. May 29 in Hilo District Court.
Kuwabara has also been placed on unpaid administrative leave while an administrative investigation is conducted by the Office of Professional Standards, the department’s internal affairs unit.
According to police, Salvation Army staff told officers Friday afternoon they had called police at about 12:45 a.m. Friday concerning the boy, a runaway who had turned himself in at the home. They alleged the responding officer, while talking to the boy, kicked the boy’s leg, then struck him on the right side of his head with his hand.
The officer reportedly left shortly after the alleged assault and the boy ran away again later that morning while being taken to school.
The alleged victim, who did not require medical attention, has since turned himself in again for the subsequent runaway report.
Criminal Investigations Section detectives investigated the incident and, after consulting with the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, a decision was made to file a criminal charge against Kuwabara.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.