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Big Island officer charged with assaulting runaway

A Hawaii Police Department officer has been charged with assaulting a boy who ran away from the Salvation Army Interim Home in Hilo.

Staff at the facility called police after the boy turned himself in on Friday. According to police, the responding officer, identified as 32-year-old Daniel Kuwabara, was talking to the boy around 12:45 a.m. that day when Kuwabara kicked the boy’s leg and struck him on the side of the head with his hand.

Police said Kuwabara left shortly after the incident and the boy ran away again hours later while being transported to school.

Police arrested Kuwabara on Saturday evening and charged him with third-degree assault. He was released after posting $500 bail and is scheduled to make an initial court appearance on Sunday.

Kuwabara has been played on leave without pay pending an administrative investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Standards.

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