Brother Alleges HPD Brutality in Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death lawsuit against the Hawai’i Police Department is being filed by the brother of a Big Island man who died in 2014 after being pulled over by police.
Then-39-year-old Kailua-Kona man Randall Hatori died on Feb. 4, 2014 while being placed into police custody.
At around 12:30 a.m., a Kona patrol officer stopped a vehicle at a gas station on Palani Road. The vehicle’s driver, then-38-year-old Ernest Ricky Alvarez of Kailua-Kona, for contempt of court. Hatori, who was a passenger in the vehicle wanted for assault and violating restraining orders, fled on foot.
In 2014, police noted that a struggle between Hatori and officers occurred as an officer attempted to arrest him, and a Taser was used in an attempt to subdue Hatori. Authorities said that Hatori became unresponsive after being placed in custody.
The Associated Press wrote Thursday that the man’s brother has filed the lawsuit, stating that “officers used a stun gun on him, beat him while he was incapacitated, and delayed getting him medical help.”
In the lawsuit, Hatori’s brother says the officer used a stun gun, knocking Hatori down. It also alleges that officers beat Hatori, and when he was face-down on the asphalt, another officer arrived and repeatedly kicked him.
Hatori was also left handcuffed and motionless while emergency medical workers tended to an injured officer, according to the lawsuit obtained by the AP.
Comment from county attorneys was declined.
In April 2014, authorities said that a detailed autopsy results showed that Hatori suffered from cardio-respiratory arrest.
The 2014 results were described by police, citing information from Dr. Lindsey Harle, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy, that the death was result of a combination of high levels of methamphetamine in Hatori’s blood and an enlarged heart, and the physical struggle that took place during the arrest.
Hatori’s brother says in the lawsuit that the autopsy classified the death as a homicide.