A police officer will face charges for assaulting a truck driver while off duty following an minor crash in Honolulu.
Minor Crash Escalates Into Assault On Truck Driver
The incident reportedly occurred on December 7 on Farrington Highway when 26 year old truck driver Jonard Escalante accidentally hit the personal vehicle of Officer Keoki Duarte while changing lanes.
Both men pulled over after the crash.
Escalante says that Duarte became enraged, shouting, swearing, and punching his truck.
Escalante says he apologized, but Duarte came up onto his truck, opening the door and throwing him to the ground below.
According to Escalante, Duarte hit and kicked him repeatedly, then choked him until he started to black out.
Driver Says He Might Not Have Survived If Others Hadn’t Stopped To Help
Escalante said the didn’t think he would have survived the attack if other motorists hadn’t stopped and called 911. Said one witness who called 911: “He was hitting him multiple times on the hood of the truck and then he threw him off of the truck, jumped down himself and was pushing him and punching him some more.”
Escalante suffered injuries to his neck and jaw.
On Tuesday, Duarte was officially charged with unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, attempted unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, and third-degree assault.
Duarte is reportedly still employed as a police officer, but his authority is now limited.