Retired Hawai‘i Island police commander charged with burglary, assault, violating protective order
Former Hawai‘i Island police assistant chief Mitchell Kanehailua Jr. appeared in Kona District Court on Tuesday morning facing charges of assault, burglary and violating a protective order.
The charges stem from a domestic dispute that occurred early Sunday morning on the 73-4000 block of Hawai‘i Belt Road in Kona.
According to police, Kanehailua violated a protective order by entering the property of his 41-year-old ex-girlfriend and attempting to gain access to her residence. While outside the residence, the 57-year-old Kanehailua was met by a 47-year-old woman, whom he tried to strike but failed. Several men detained Kanehailua until officers arrived.
Kanehailua – who retired from the department in September 2019 – was arrested for violating an order of protection and harassment.
He was charged Monday evening with the following:
- Violation of a protective order
- First-degree attempted burglary
- Third-degree assault
- Third-degree attempted assault
Kanehailua joined the department in 1984 and rose through the ranks. He held assignments in Kona, Hilo, South Kohala, Hāmākua, Laupāhoehoe and Puna. He was promoted to assistant chief in late 2016.
During the Tuesday hearing, the public defender requested supervised release or a bail reduction. However, District Court Judge Kimberly Taniyama maintained bail at $9,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing on Thursday afternoon.