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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A veteran police officer who's the member of an elite Honolulu Police Department unit is facing a criminal trial and an internal investigation after being accused of assaulting a man arrested for beating up the officer's adult daughter.
Police officer Dennis G. Stone, Jr. was a member of the Specialized Services Division, which includes HPD's SWAT team that handles hostage and barricade situations as well as carrying out search warrants.
Stone is a 22-year veteran of the police force who's accused of assault in an incident that happened Saturday, February 2.
That's when witnesses said Stone beat Sean E. Bonilla, 32, while he was in police custody.
Court records showed Bonilla had been arrested on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, and was accused of beating up his girlfriend, who's officer Stone's daughter.
Witnesses said Bonilla was already in handcuffs and in a police car when Stone arrived at the scene and beat him up.
Immediately after the incident, HPD removed Stone's gun and badge, took away his police powers and re-assigned him to HPD's Training Academy in Waipahu. The department also began internal affairs investigation.
Court documents show Stone has been charged with 3rd degree assault -- a misdemeanor. He pleaded not guilty in circuit court and faces trial later this month.
Bonilla went to trial in July for abuse of a household member -- in connection with the February 2 incident. But court records show the case was dismissed when the complaining witness failed to show up for the trial.
Even if Stone is found not guilty in the criminal case, he will still face police department discipline which could include up to suspension or, even firing.
Stone and his attorney Thomas Otake declined to comment.
The officers who were at the scene of Stone's alleged assault on his daughter's boyfriend could face discipline as well, since they're responsible for the safety of a suspect once he's in custody.
But the police department has not placed any of them on restricted duty.
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