Questions raised about how HPD handled manhunt for wanted office - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Questions raised about how HPD handled manhunt for wanted officer

Officer Jessie Laconsay (Image: Honolulu Police Department) Officer Jessie Laconsay (Image: Honolulu Police Department)
Officer Jessie Laconsay, shown here under a sheet, is taken into Wahiawa General Hospital. (Image: Hawaii News Now) Officer Jessie Laconsay, shown here under a sheet, is taken into Wahiawa General Hospital. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Community leaders and law enforcement experts are questioning how Honolulu police handled a massive manhunt Wednesday for an officer on the run.

Officer Jessie Laconsay, a 10-year veteran of the force, remains in custody for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor.

And more than 24 hours after his arrest near Mokuleia, Honolulu Police Department brass still hasn't commented publicly on the islandwide search for the 37-year-old.

The officer fled Tuesday night, after he was caught sexually assaulting a teen.

On Wednesday morning, Hawaii News News sought details from police about the manhunt.

It wasn't until noon, more than 12 hours after the search for Laconsay began, that HPD let the public know that the officer was on the run and that he might be driving his HPD-subsidized vehicle.

"The decision made to withhold crucial information of a rogue police officer for 12 hours by the police administration has a lot of criminologists scratching their heads," said University of Hawaii criminology instructor Aaron Hunger. 

State Sen. Will Espero, who has been a vocal critic of HPD's administration, also has questions about what information the public got -- and when.

"Certainly this incident is going to be highly scrutinized," said Espero, chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee. "We're going to see what steps were taken to actually catch the police officer and arrest him."

About noon Wednesday, HPD issued a brief statement confirming that Laconsay took off in his police-subsidized vehicle, equipped with a police radio, lights and a siren. Sources say when Laconsay fled he was driving erratically, even into oncoming traffic.

About an hour after the HPD statement was issued, Laconsay was found near near Dillingham Airfield with cuts to his wrists. 

Hunger, who is a former police officer, said Laconsay could have posed a threat to the community -- one the public should have been told about sooner.

He could have "pulled over somebody from the public, endangered them, kidnapped somebody or held somebody for hostage should they have felt threatened," Hunger said. "The fact that this ended peacefully is a good thing."

HPD said both criminal and administrative investigations have been opened in the case.

Laconsay has been placed on leave without pay and his police powers will be restricted.

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