Off-duty Hawaii Island police officer accused of assaulting elderly man

Jami Harper

A Hawaii Police Department officer has been arrested in connection with a confrontation late Friday, Jan. 22, while off duty at an apartment complex in Kailua-Kona.

At 11:14 p.m. Friday, Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of a disturbance at an apartment building on the 75-5600 block of Kuakini Highway.

According to police, investigation revealed that Jami Harper, 39, an off-duty Kona Patrol officer, had confronted a 72-year-old man who lived in the apartment above him. Following the confrontation, Harper requested police assistance and medics.

The 72-year-old man was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was treated for facial injuries and then released on on Saturday, Jan. 23.

Also Saturday, Harper was taken to Kona Community Hospital for a medical condition. He was then transferred to Hilo Medical Center, where he remained until Wednesday, Jan. 27. Upon his release from the hospital, he was arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Harper was charged with second-degree assault Wednesday morning. His bail was set at $2,000, and he remains at the cellblock.

Unless he posts bail, his initial court appearance will be Thursday, Jan. 28, in Hilo District Court.

In addition to the criminal investigation, the Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards will conduct an internal administrative investigation into the incident.

Harper has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of that investigation, police said.

In March 2012, Harper was honored by the department as Officer of the Month.

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