A Honolulu police officer has been accused of physically abusing his girlfriend for more than a year.
Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted Honolulu police officer Danson Cappo on charges of second-degree theft, two counts of third-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal property damage.
Cappo pleaded not guilty in state court Monday, KITV reports. He posted his $20,000 bail and was released.
Cappo was arrested in March 2014 after his then-girlfriend filed a temporary restraining order against him.
He has since been reassigned to desk duty without police powers and was required to surrender his firearms and ammunition, a Honolulu police representative told The Huffington Post.
According to Hawaii News Now, Cappo’s ex-girlfriend (who has remained anonymous) says the abuse lasted more than a year. The woman alleges Cappo beat her, tried to push her out of his car, slashed her tires and attempted to smother her with a pillow.
In 2013, she alleges, Cappo pulled his department-issued gun on her. She said she was too afraid to call for help because of Cappo’s position at HPD. He has been an officer for two years.
Marci Lopes, of the State Coalition against Domestic Violence, told Hawaii News Now not firing Cappo "sends the wrong message to victims, it sends the wrong message to the community."
Cappo's court date is set for April 6; he could face up to five years in prison.
His indictment adds to a growing number of domestic abuse cases involving Honolulu police officers. Honolulu Civil Beat reports that, since 2000, there have been at least 26 HPD officers who were suspended or terminated "for incidents involving domestic violences"; only three lost their jobs and were later either reinstated or resigned.
Last year, Sgt. Darren Cachola was investigated after a video that surfaced appeared to show him repeatedly shoving and punching his girlfriend. His girlfriend told Hawaii News Now they were "just playing." A grand jury chose not to indict him.