Former HPD officer sentenced to 30 months for unprovoked game room attack

Former HPD officer sentenced to 30 months for unprovoked game room attack
Morre outside the courthouse
Morre outside the courthouse

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former Honolulu Police Officer Vince Morre has been sentenced to 30 months in jail following an unprovoked attack in a Honolulu game room in September 2014.

The HPD officer was seen on surveillance video punching, kicking, and slapping the men. He then throws a chair at one of them, which hits the victim in the head. That man had to go to the hospital with a broken finger and needed stitches in his head.

Officer Morre and two other officers in HPD's Crime Reduction Unit were in the game room to find someone else. When they didn't find that person, Morre attacked the other two who were there.

Morre, who resigned from the police department, faced up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of civil rights violations.

The victims, Jordan Topinio, Francisco Franson, say they can never trust police officers again.  Topinio testified in court at the sentencing hearing.

"He was terrified,"says his attorney Myles Breiner, "It has taken him quite a bit of time to come to terms with this."

After testifying, Topinio, who has a HOPE probation warrant was arrested at the elevator of the federal courthouse.

The 30 month sentence was much less than the 5 years the judge could have sentenced Morre to.  Judge Michael Seabright took into consideration, Morre pleading guilty and making a video for HPD recruits that warns them about crossing the line.

Morre's attorney, David Hayakawa describes the training video as very powerful, "Your entire life is going to change in an instant if you fail to follow the law or fail to report fellow officers and in that sense they did try to assist the community,"

Morre won't go to prison until after the holidays.  He requested that he could spend Christmas with his family and will surrender on January 5.

The two other officers who were with Morre that day will be sentenced for not stopping the attack and trying to cover it up.

After the sentencing, HPD Deputy Chief Cary Okimoto issued the following statement to Hawaii News Now:

This is a painful reminder that no matter who you are or what your profession is, there are consequences when you step outside of the law.  Police work is demanding and stressful, but we must never forget that we took an oath to serve and protect all.  Now because of a single act, three officers have lost their careers and many lives are changed forever.

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