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Police: Officer’s attacker beat wife

<p>Christopher Gonsalves appears in Hilo District Court on Wednesday afternoon. He is accused of assaulting a police officer.</p><p>HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald</p>


Tribune-Herald staff writer

A 48-year-old Pahoa man accused of assaulting a police officer at Hawaiian Beaches Park on Saturday is alleged to have hit his wife before the officer attempted to arrest him.

According to court documents, Michelle Gonsalves told officers that during a verbal dispute, Christopher Thomas Gonsalves pushed her twice with both hands, struck her upper left arm with his forearm, then hit her in the chest with a closed fist.

Documents state that the victim, the mother of the couple’s seven children, sustained pain and bruising from the alleged attack, which occurred at about 2:30 p.m.

Court records indicate that Michelle Gonsalves filed for a divorce on July 10.

Puna patrol officers on Saturday responded to a report of domestic abuse. Documents state that Gonsalves “took a fighting stance” with his fists raised and clenched and “aggressively approached” one of the officers, Wyatt Kaili-Leong.

Gonsalves allegedly told Kaili-Leong: “I’m going to kick your ass.”

According to documents, there was a tussle and Kaili-Leong “was struck on the right side of his face with an open hand, causing pain.” Documents state that Kaili-Leong also injured his right knee and sustained abrasions to both of his elbows.

Police say that Gonsalves fled the scene and was arrested on Sunday in Hawaiian Shores. He was charged on Tuesday with assaulting a police officer in the first degree, terroristic threatening and domestic abuse. His bail was set at $22,000.

At his initial court appearance on Wednesday, Deputy Public Defender Jennifer Ng asked that Gonsalves be granted supervised release.

“I know that the recommendation was to confirm bail. However, we would ask that the court consider release,” she said. “… We note that (Michelle Gonsalves) indicated that she was not fearful of the defendant in this matter.”

Deputy Prosecutor Greg Gimenez asked that bail be maintained, noting “10 prior contempts (of court) and a bail-jumping charge.”

“The state’s not confident that he will come back,” he said.

According to court records Gonsalves has 29 prior convictions and was sentenced to a year in jail and five years probation for bail jumping in 2004.

Assaulting a police officer in the first degree is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Hilo District Judge Andrew Wilson ordered Gonsalves to return for a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. today.

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