Exclusive: HPD Cachola investigation delayed while another officer was on leave
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's been 8 months since a Honolulu Police Sergeant was caught on video fighting with his girlfriend. The sergeant is still on desk duty because the internal investigation is still not done. The fight between Darren Cachola and the woman was on September 8.
Multiple surveillance cameras caught them both slapping, punching and wrestling inside and outside Kuni's Restaurant in Waipahu.
A grand jury refused to indict Sgt. Cachola one month later but HPD's internal case is still pending.
"Certainly it has been awhile, I would imagine the police department is going through their own internal processes," says Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga.
Police sources tell me one of the witnesses, another officer who responded to the restaurant, was recently involved in an off-duty accident. He was injured and had to go on medical leave for several months. Investigators could not interview him while he recovered and he is considered a key witness because he was the one who drove Cachola home that night.
HPD is looking into several issues with the case. Not only Cachola's actions, but also the actions of those responding officers. One problem, figuring out why a police report wasn't done even though policy mandates that one be completed.
The case prompted City and State Lawmakers to form committees to address domestic abuse and internal investigations involving officers. Those discussions continue.
"If we can do a better job of changing the laws to address how those processes work better than we can have a stronger framework for addressing domestic violence in the future," says Fukunaga.
Sources say the internal investigation into the case is now back on track and could wrap up soon.
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