Puna Officer Honored For Lifesaving Efforts in Kidnapping Incident
A Puna police officer was recently honored by an East Hawai‘i organization for exceptional investigative work and lifesaving efforts during an incident involving the kidnapping and torture of a male victim.
Officer Michael Sailer was named Officer of the Month for June by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i.
A four-year veteran of the department, Sailer responded June 7 to a report of a dispute at a residence in Volcano. Upon arrival, he began searching the area, initially making a loud announcement of police presence. He heard a male yelling for help one time, then it became quiet. Sailer continued calling out “Police!” for several minutes with no response.
In the quiet, Sailer could hear heavy breathing coming from inside the residence. He again called out “Police!” and observed what appeared to be a small amount of blood on the front door. While at the front door, he called out “Police!” again and a teenage male answered the door. The officer noted that the male was wearing gloves and could hear a man yell for help from inside the residence.
Asking the teen to step out from the residence, Sailer entered the front room and discovered a handcuffed man on the floor with his feet zip-tied and a second man kneeling on top of the victim. In addition to having his hands and feet restrained, the victim had a rag partially stuffed in his mouth and duct taped.
The man kneeling on the victim told officers that there was a restraining order and that the tied up male had broken the law.
After securing the residence, Sailer found tactical gear, an assault rifle, a pistol, ammunition and evidence of a kidnapping and assault that had taken place in the residence. In the course of investigation, Sailer discovered that the victim had been held against his will within the residence and assaulted. It appeared the two males in the residence might have intended on killing the victim and covering up the incident.
The two males involved were eventually charged with a variety of crimes, including kidnapping and assault.
“Sailer’s perseverance to uncover what transpired that evening in Volcano resulted in him interrupting a potential homicide in the making,” a media release from the Hawai‘i Police Department said. “Through his efforts, a life was saved, two violent suspects were apprehended and multiple firearms were safely recovered.”
The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i honors a police officer in East Hawai‘i each month as its Officer of the Month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the police districts in Area I, including Hāmākua, North Hilo, South Hilo and Puna, and a winner is selected.
All officers selected as Officer of the Month are eligible to be selected as the club’s Officer of the Year.