Hawai’i Island police have arrested a 31-year-old Puna Patrol officer following an incident reported on Tuesday morning, August 15, 2023, in Ka’u.
The officer is identified as Mark Kealoha Kaili Jr., of Keaau, who has been with the Hawai’i Police Department for just over two years.
On Friday morning, August 18, 2023, at 10:25 a.m., detectives arrested Kaili at his residence in Hawaiian Paradise Park, on suspicion of first-degree burglary and third-degree assault.
The arrest of Kaili stems from an incident reported early Tuesday morning at a residence in Naalehu, where two masked men reportedly entered the 20-year-old victim’s residence and assaulted him. During the altercation, the victim’s grandfather attempted to intervene, and in the process unmasked one of the suspects, later identified as Kaili, who was off-duty during the alleged incident, as well as at the time of his arrest.
The other suspect was identified as 27-year-old Cody Kuaili’aimoku Kanahele, who is the cousin of the victim. Kanahele was arrested a short time after this incident was reported. Later that same day he was charged with first-degree burglary, and third-degree assault.
The Area I Criminal Investigation Division and the Office of Professional Standards are continuing the criminal investigation. The Office of Professional Standards has also initiated a standard internal administrative investigation. Officer Kaili has been placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of this investigation. “As with all criminal defendants, it is important to remember that Kanahele and Kaili are considered innocent until proven guilty,” said Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz. “We take all allegations of misconduct by department employees seriously and I look forward to a thorough timely investigation to determine what happened in this incident.”