Update: Hawai‘i Island police officer faces charges in connection with assault of 20-year-old in Ka‘ū
Update at 4:17 p.m. Aug. 19: Hawai’i Police Department detectives have charged 31-year-old Big Island police officer Mark Kealoha Kaili Jr. of Hawaiian Paradise Park with first-degree burglary and third-degree assault stemming from an incident reported Aug. 15 in Ka‘ū.
Kaili’s bail was set at $6,000. If he does not post bail, he will appear the afternoon of Aug. 21 in Hilo District Court.
The Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigation Division and the Office of Professional Standards (Internal Affairs) are continuing to investigate.
The Office of Professional Standards also initiated a standard internal administrative investigation. Kaili was placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of the separate criminal and internal investigations.
“I am grateful to the investigators for their hard work in solving and charging this case,” said Hawai’i Police Department Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz. “It is important to remember that while the allegations against Officer Kaili are serious, they do not represent the hard work and dedication of the Hawai’i Police Department.”
Original story: A Hawai‘i Island police officer was taken into custody on Friday morning by fellow officers after breaking into a Ka‘ū residence earlier this week and assaulting a 20-year-old man, according to the police.
Mark Kaili Jr., who has been with the department for just over two years and was stationed in Puna as a patrol officer, was arrested at about 10:25 a.m. at his home in Hawaiian Paradise Park and is being held for investigation of first-degree burglary and third-degree assault charges.
On Tuesday, two masked men, one identified by witnesses as Kaili, entered a residence in Nā‘ālehu and assaulted a 20-year-old man who was at home with his grandfather. During the alleged attack, the grandfather unmasked one of the suspects, who later was identified initially through social media as Kaili, according to police.
Kaili was not on duty at the time of the incident, police said.
The second suspect has been identified as 27-year-old Cody Kanahele, a cousin of the 20-year-old. According to police, he was arrested a short time after the assault occurred. Later that day, he was charged with first-degree burglary and third-degree assault.
“As with all criminal defendants, it is important to remember that Kanahele and Kaili are considered innocent until proven guilty,” Police Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz said. “We take all allegations of misconduct by department employees seriously and I look forward to a thorough timely investigation to determine what happened in this incident.”
The Area I Criminal Investigation Division and the Office of Professional Standards are continuing the criminal investigation. The Office of Professional Standards has also initiated a standard internal administrative investigation. Officer Kaili has been placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of this investigation.
Kaili was in the 94th Recruiting Class that graduated in 2021. He was presented with the Firearms Award for his interest and proficiency in the use of firearms and for attaining the highest rating in firearms training.
This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.