DLNR sued over officer’s aggressive handling of 2017 ‘floatilla’ boat seizure

Wyatt Kam filed a previous complaint with the DLNR last year.
Wyatt Kam filed a previous complaint with the DLNR last year.(Hawaii News Now/file (custom credit))
Updated: Jan. 28, 2019 at 6:04 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii Kai man sued the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Monday along with several other DLNR law enforcement officers over an aggressive boat seizure in 2017.

Hawaii News Now reported last year that DLNR officers boarded Wyatt Kam’s catamaran during the Fourth of July flotilla event in Waikiki.

Kam alleged that a supervising officer, Carlton Helm, ordered him face down, placing his boot on his back for 45 minutes and threatened to kick him.

“An absolutely outrageous course of conduct by government agents who are supposed to act very differently," said attorney Eric Seitz, who represents Kam.

“In addition to that, there seems to be a cover-up and a total denial that anything done here was wrong," he added.

The department declined comment on the lawsuit, which alleged that Kam’s civil rights were violated and that he was falsely imprisoned. But the department did say that that Helm faced no disciplinary actions as a result of the incident.

Kam filed a civil rights complaint with the department last year but the department rejected the complaint.

“Not only was there an assault on somebody which was absolutely outrageous, but then there was a cover-up and no action was taken by the department to acknowledge there was wrongdoing," said Seitz.

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