PALOLO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu police officer has been placed on desk duty after he was caught on cell phone video throwing a 25-year-old Palolo man to the ground.
The video obtained by Hawaii News Now also shows Officer Siave Seti Jr. attempting to grab the cell phone from a witness, even though he did not have a search warrant or a subpoena for the phone.
"I don't want this to happen to anybody else. Nobody deserves to go though that type of treatment especially from the HPD," said Eric Musrasrik, who wound up in the hospital after the confrontation.
"After I got up it was whoa, you know, I was in shock, in pain, I was speechless."
Musrasrik said he suffered scratches to his neck, a fat lip and a sprained lower hip.
Seti has been on the force less than two years. HPD also took his gun away, pending the investigation.
On the video, the police officer can be heard threatening to arrest the man but no such action was taken.
It's not clear from the video what led up to the incident but Musrasrik and his friends say the attack was unprovoked.
"I went to (video) record him because I can feel that's one bad cop right there," said Isa Lucky, who filmed the incident.
Musrasrik said Seti grabbed the phone but that he was able to grab it back.
"That constitutes trying to destroy evidence. That's private property. There's absolutely no basis to seize the phone," said Myles Breiner, Musrasrik's attorney.
"This is the type of message that is going to be sent to the community that a police officer can assault someone with impunity."
Musrasrik has filed a criminal complaint with police alleging assault. Breiner says he will likely file a civil lawsuit.