2 HPD Officers Facing Manslaughter Probe for 77-year-old Man’s ‘Physical Force’ Arrest


Two Honolulu police officers are being investigated for manslaughter in connection with last year’s arrest of a 77-year-old man in the Ala Moana district.

HPD Chief Joe Logan announced the investigation during a news conference on Wednesday.

He said the two officers, both from the department’s Crime Reduction Unit, have been placed on restricted duty while the inquiry continues. He stated that the investigation would likely take another two or three months and that the circumstances behind the man’s death are unknown.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner identified the 77-year-old man as Honolulu resident Thomas Matias, Sr.

The arrest took place on December 28 in the Ala Moana Shopping Center parking lot.

Matias was riding a moped that officers suspected was stolen, and Logan stated that “physical force was used” in the arrest. Matias sustained injuries but refused to be treated at a hospital.

He was eventually detained for unlawful use of a propelled vehicle and released.

Logan stated that two days after the arrest, paramedics and police officers went to the man’s home, and he informed those who arrived “that he had been assaulted by police officers.”

He was rushed to the hospital again and discovered to have several fractures in his face and ribs.

For unclear reasons, he departed the hospital after several hours.

Logan said the man was discovered deceased in his house on January 10.

The death was deemed a homicide by the Honolulu Medical Examiner, “with the cause combined effects of existing medical conditions and recent chest and rib injuries,” Logan said.

The stated cause of death was recent rib fractures, blunt force injuries to the chest, and pulmonary emphysema. HPD has characterized the matter as manslaughter.

Logan stated that the two Crime Reduction Unit cops were placed on restricted duty shortly after the man’s death. They have three to eight years of service and have not been charged.

In addition to the criminal investigation, an internal examination of the arrest and subsequent actions is underway.

“The investigation needs to continue to find out exactly how and why these things happened,” Logan told reporters during the press conference. He also stated that there is no cop body camera footage of the arrest. CRU police don’t carry body cams. However, there is bodycam evidence of the response to the man’s house.

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