Kauai police reportedly Tasered an unarmed Kapaa High School student on campus this morning.
According to a staff member who witnessed the incident, the youth was lying face down, and reportedly was not struggling or resisting, when the officer Tasered him. Police were apparently conducting a criminal investigation of an incident that happened off-campus.
I learned of this in an email sent to me, as well as Councilmen Mel Rapozo, KipuKai Kualii and Tim Bynum,reporters for The Garden Island and others. It also included this comment:
i share this news as there is a sense of shock, disgust and anger from KHS staff that KPD would subscribe to this type of behavior while questioning a student for an off campus incident.
Update: At 3:27 p.m., the county released the police department's account:
Tumua Masaniai, age 18, is a student at Kapaa High and was wanted in connection with a robbery and assault case.
At about 7:30 a.m., as students were arriving for school, a police officer recognized Masaniai on campus and attempted to arrest him, but Masaniai, who is six feet tall and weighs approximately 270 pounds, refused to submit to two officers’ repeated verbal commands. Masaniai also threatened the officers with physical harm and physically resisted officers’ attempts to handcuff him.
After warning Masaniai repeatedly that the Electronic Control Device (ECD) would be used if he did not submit, Masaniai continued making threats and resisting arrest. At that point, an officer deployed his ECD and was able to subdue Masaniai while avoiding any injury to either Masaniai or the officers involved. Masaniai was standing when the ECD was used.
Masaniai was arrested and transported to Police Cellblock after a routine medical clearance at Wilcox Hospital.
He is charged with Robbery, Unauthorized Control of a Propelled Vehicle, Resisting Arrest and Terroristic Threatening and is currently being held in lieu of $16,100 bail.
Leaving the public to wonder, what really happened?