Officer Cacique Melendez was recognized Oct. 8 by the Hawaii Island Security and Safety Professionals Association as its Officer of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2021.
Melendez was honored for his ability to successfully diffuse a tense situation involving weapons on Old Saddle Road, as well as his superb investigative skills.
On June 20, Melendez responded to a call of a man shooting a rifle near a cargo van just above Highway 190. Upon arrival, Melendez saw the man holding the rifle with both hands and noticed he also had a revolver holstered on his right hip. Giving clear commands, Officer Melendez was able to diffuse the tense situation and take the suspect into custody without incident, according to police.
Upon investigation, Melendez determined the handgun was a black powder revolver modified to shoot modern ammunition. After obtaining the suspect’s permission to search the van, he also found an open container of alcoholic beverage, police said. Melendez determined the suspect had placed a target on private property and was shooting his guns from a gated area close to the road. Working with state and federal agencies, the officer determined the suspect was shooting on federal property and had previously been warned to stay off the property.
The suspect was charged with three firearms charges, police said.