Officer expected to plead guilty in urinal case
HONOLULU — A Honolulu police officer is expected to plead guilty to depriving a homeless man of his civil rights by forcing him to lick a public urinal.
John Rabago plans to plead guilty to an indictment because he wants to accept responsibility, his attorney, Megan Kau, said Tuesday.
Court records show a change-of-plea hearing is scheduled Dec. 16.
Rabago’s co-defendant pleaded guilty in September to failing to report that Rabago forced the man to lick the urinal in January, and that it wasn’t the first time.
Rabago, who remains on restricted duty, and Reginald Ramones, who left the department in August, were arrested and charged earlier this year with conspiring to deprive a man of his civil rights.
As part of a deal with prosecutors, Ramones in September pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that he knew Rabago committed a civil rights violation but didn’t inform authorities about it.
The homeless man feared he would be arrested and reluctantly obeyed Rabago’s orders, according to Ramones’ plea agreement. Rabago previously threatened another man he was questioning that he wouldn’t be arrested only if he stuck his head in a toilet, the document said.
Ramones said in court that Rabago persuaded him not to tell authorities what happened in the public bathroom and to delete their text messages about it.
Rabago told him to say he was joking when he talked about making the man lick the urinal, Ramones said.
Condo association cited for cutting protected trees
HONOLULU — A Honolulu condominium association received a city violation notice for cutting down protected trees at the property.
The city Department of Planning and Permitting issued the notice to the Puu Alii Community Association in October.
The association cut numerous trees from a slope below condo buildings including Formosan koa, Java plum, Mindanao gum and white monkeypod specimens, the notice said.
“We ask that the PCA take immediate action to cure this violation by replacing the removed trees with equivalent plants or functional equivalents acceptable to the PCA general membership,” the department wrote in October.
The permitting agency said it planned to impose civil fines if numerous trees were not replaced by Nov. 17.
The Kaneohe property has more than 1,300 trees that are supposed to be maintained by the community of condo owners under a special city ordinance.
Documents from the community association and the city indicate tree removals and extreme trimming to preserve residents’ views caused chronic problems. The community has not fully complied with landscaping rules since the 540-home complex was approved for development in 1975, the city said.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald