Two Honolulu police officers were arrested Friday by federal authorities and charged with forcing a man to lick a urinal inside a public restroom.

A federal indictment charges officers John Rabago and Reginald Ramones with conspiracy and acting under the color of law to deprive the man of his civil rights.

The charges stem from an incident last January when the officers were responding to a trespassing complaint.

Honolulu Police Dept Chief Susan Ballard during Foodland cop shooting.

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard sent the case to federal authorities.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Police Chief Susan Ballard stripped four officers of their police powers while the department investigated the case, which she also sent to the FBI for review. Rabado, who has been employed by HPD for 17 years, and Ramones, who has a decade of service with the department, will now be placed on leave without pay, while the two other officers will remain on restricted duty.

It is not known whether the officers faced further disciplinary action. Police officers are exempted from a state law that makes public the misconduct records of public employees — unless the officers have been fired.

“While this morning’s arrests cast a dark shadow on the department, I ask that the public please continue to support the officers who carry out their daily assignments with courage, integrity and respect for the public,” Ballard said Friday in a prepared statement. “The two officers who were arrested will have their day in court and be held accountable for their actions.”

The FBI is now leading the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by attorney Timothy Visser of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Brady.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 and the deprivation of rights charge carries a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000.

Will you help us?

There are upsides to being a nonprofit as we carry out our public-service mission. We don’t have a paywall on our site, charge a subscription fee, or clutter our articles with ads. But this also means that reader support sustains every aspect of what we do. Without you, we don’t exist. It’s as simple as that. By donating, you’re supporting everyone on staff—and allowing unbiased, investigative journalism to thrive. If you value our work, will you make a tax-deductible donation today?

About the Author