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Former Big Isle officer charged with beating man in 2014

KAILUA-KONA » A former Big Island police officer has been indicted on charges related to the alleged beating of a man at an Ocean View market in 2014.

The first-degree assault case against Michael Dubberstein will be heard in Kona Circuit Court, West Hawaii Today reported.

An indictment filed last week alleges he “intentionally or knowingly caused serious bodily injury” to James Gonzales in February 2014. The incident took place months after Dubberstein left the police department.

Deputy Prosecutor Rick Damerville said Gonzales suffered head injuries, a dislocated shoulder and broken ribs. Gonzales died in 2015 at age 65 for reasons unrelated to the alleged assault.

A police spokeswoman said Dubberstein was with the department for more than 24 years. He worked as a patrol officer in the Kona and Kau districts before leaving the department in June 2013. The spokeswoman declined to state the reason for his departure.

Dubberstein was one of 19 officers who sued Hawaii County, the police department and top police officials in 1997 for a promotion rigging scandal. The 19 plaintiffs were awarded a total of $4.6 million by a jury in 1999.

Dubberstein told West Hawaii Today on Friday that he was unaware of last week’s indictment by a Hilo grand jury.

A bench warrant for his arrest set bail at $2,000.

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