Former HPD Officer Acquitted of Assault

Published: Jan. 27, 2006 at 11:38 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2006 at 10:20 PM HST
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(KHNL)  Hilarion Oliva III, a former HPD sergeant, has been cleared of assault charges.

Friday a jury returned a not guilty verdict in the trial where Oliva was accused of punching Levi Kaai.

It took twelve-jury members about three-hours to reach a verdict.

Oliva went on trial for punching Kaai in May of 2004. He told jurors Kaai acted aggressively from the moment he was arrested.

Kaai was arrested for having an open can of beer in a car.

Oliva said he punched Kaai because he moved toward him and thought he was going to be mobbed.

The punch caused a bleeding gash that required 11-stitches to Kaai's forehead.

"In this case he's been portrayed as a villian. If the public knew the facts, the way the jury did, in the department should have, he wouldn't have been a villain.  He shouldn't have been put on trial in the first place," said Oliva's attorney Jonathan Burge.

Oliva was with the Honolulu Police Department for 20 years. He says he wants to get back on the force and plans to talk with the police union soon.