HPD officer charged with assault for body slam

Published: Jul. 31, 2015 at 9:32 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 31, 2015 at 9:44 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The State Attorney General's office has charged a Honolulu Police officer shown in cell phone video body slamming a man in Palolo Valley in February.

Only Hawaii News Now reported on the case months ago when 25-year old Eric Masrasrik was thrown to the ground by Officer Siave Seti, Jr.  Seti is charged with assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor.

The cell phone video doesn't show what led up to the confrontation, but Masrasrik claims it was unprovoked.

He also says the officer punched him in the face.

Seti, a two year veteran of the force, did not arrest Masrasrik for any crimes that day.

"I contacted my client. He was delighted," says Myles Breiner, Masrasrik's attorney, "He's been frightened for some time now that the officer had not been charged. He's been living in fear of the officer."

The Attorney General says the case was brought to his office because it was declined by the Honolulu prosecutor's office due to a conflict of interest with the alleged victim.

"Any sort of allegations of police abuse are something that the rest of the law enforcement community really has to take seriously because there have been so many cases like this on the mainland," says Doug Chin, State Attorney General.

Seti appeared in court Friday, pleading not guilty and asking for a jury trial.  If he is convicted he faces up to one year in jail and a 2-thousand fine.

Seti had his police powers removed and has been on desk duty.

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