A former New Mexico police chief is suing the Maui Police Department for an incident in which he says he was improperly detained along with a colleague, who was also an officer.
Jason Greigo and James Sanchez were arrested in July 2013 while in Maui working for a New Mexico businessman as part of a personal security contract. At the time Greigo was the police chief in Cuba, New Mexico. Sanchez was a reserve officer.
Two officers from New Mexico, one a former police chief, are suing the Maui Police Department.
According to the lawsuit, which was first reported on by Hawaii News Now, MPD officers searched Greigo and Sanchez’s hotel rooms without a warrant and detained the two men without giving an explanation for the arrests. Greigo also had three guns seized.
One officer is even alleged to have taunted Greigo, asking him how it felt to be a police chief in handcuffs.
The lawsuit says the two men were photographed, fingerprinted and placed in a jail cell that had urine and feces on the floor. At the same time, their families were booted from their hotel room because an officer told staff that Griego and Sanchez had “violently assaulted someone.”
Both men were eventually released and told that no official charges would be filed because “there appeared to be a misunderstanding.”
Greigo and Sanchez are represented by Honolulu attorney Eric Seitz.
UPDATE: Maui Deputy Corporation Counsel Moana Lutey issued a statement about the lawsuit Wednesday, saying Greigo and Sanchez were arrested after MPD received a 911 call about a burglary at a private residence in Wailea.
The two men were arrested on suspicion of first degree burglary as well as gun offenses after MPD’s investigation. Lutey said that although Greigo and Sanchez were police officers in New Mexico, “they failed to comply with Hawaii law when they brought their firearms into the state.”