HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii musician and his friend visiting from Connecticut claim in a federal lawsuit that Honolulu police officers used excessive force when they were mistaken for armed robbers while hiking.
The Honolulu Police Department declined to comment Friday on the lawsuit filed by John Helm and his friend Jonah Wellins.
The lawsuit says they were hiking last year when they noticed a police helicopter, with a pilot directing them to descend from the summit. They claim they were accosted by eight armed officers in combat gear.
Helm alleges he was violently shoved and his face was slammed onto the ground so hard that he lost consciousness. Wellins also alleges the officers beat him.
They were released after it was determined they didn’t match the description of the lone robbery suspect.