Honolulu Police Officer Testifies Assault was Self-Defense - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Honolulu Police Officer Testifies Assault was Self-Defense

Honolulu Police Sgt. Hilarion Oliva III testifies during assault trial. Honolulu Police Sgt. Hilarion Oliva III testifies during assault trial.

(KHNL)  Honolulu Police Sgt. Hilarion Oliva III, who's on trial for punching Levi Kaai after his arrest nearly two years ago, took the witness stand on Thursday.

Sgt. Oliva said Kaai acted aggressively from the moment he handcuffed him.

"After I handcuffed him and put him down, that's when he started saying, 'you only tough in uniform, cops only tough, I can kick your ass'," said Oliva.

In May 2004, he arrested Kaai for having an open can of beer in a vehicle.

After Kaai was taken into custody and released, Sgt. Oliva spotted him hours later near the station.

Oliva said Kaai yelled at him and made a gesture, so Oliva stopped to talk to him. That's when he said Kaai made another gesture.

"Like this, he was going right, I'm standing, 2-3 feet from him, he was threatening me, he was gonna kick my ass, threatening to kick my ass right there, all policemen with no respect, I'm thinking, he's gonna hit me, assault me, so I take that for any movement and I strike him once in the face," said Oliva.

The prosecution tried to show that Sgt. Oliva could've avoided the situation by simply walking away from Kaai.

Attorneys will present their closing arguments on Friday.

If he's found guilty, Oliva could spend up to a year in jail and pay up to $2,000 in fines.