Naalehu man accused of assaulting police officer

  • Kenneth Valenti

KAILUA-KONA — A Naalehu man was taken into custody after striking a Hawaii Police Officer in the face with his fist and elbow, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

The alleged assault stems from an incident that occurred about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, when Kenneth Valenti, 44, failed to stop his vehicle and fled from police, said Police Maj. Robert Wagner.

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Wagner said the vehicle Valenti was operating crossed the centerline at the intersection area of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Palani Road. The 44-year-old was reportedly speeding on the highway.

Wagner said Valenti initially stopped for police then sped off northbound after refusing to roll down his window and exit the vehicle.

Valenti ended up running from the car at Lanihau Center but was soon taken into custody. While being arrested, Wagner said Valenti hit the officer in the face with his fist and elbow. The officer was not seriously injured.

Valenti was charged with driving under the influence, liquor prohibited, third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug, no insurance, driving without a license, resisting order to stop, reckless driving, resisting arrest and assault against a police officer.

Valenti appeared in Kona District Court for his initial appearance on Tuesday. Judge Margaret Masunaga maintained bail at $7,200.

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On Wednesday, probable cause was found to forward Valenti’s case to 3rd Circuit Court for further proceedings.

Valenti’s next scheduled court appearance is May 11.

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