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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 6, 2007

Clip of UH fan being subdued spurs probe

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer

Honolulu police have opened a criminal investigation after officers were videotaped allegedly roughing up a fan who rushed the field following the University of Hawai'i's football victory over Washington on Saturday.

The clip, posted initially on the Web site YouTube, shows a male fan on the ground in front of the UH student section, restrained by police. One officer appears to be punching the fan, but the video does not show if or where the blows land.

No officers have been suspended in connection with the incident.

"Based on the evidence and what we've seen, we're looking into it," said Honolulu police Capt. Frank Fujii. The investigation is being conducted by Internal Affairs detectives.

The Honolulu Police Commission received seven formal complaints alleging officers used excessive force in 2006. Of the seven, two were not sustained, four were ruled no fault on the part of the officer and one was unfounded, according to the commission's 2006 annual report.

The video was removed from YouTube on Tuesday night, but it can be seen at www.honoluluadvertiser.com/video

A contingent of off-duty Honolulu police officers, an HPD Rapid Response Deployment group and Wackenhut private security guards were providing security at the game.

Following Hawai'i's come-from-behind 35-28 victory, which secured the team's first Bowl Championship Series berth, fans rushed onto the field at Aloha Stadium.

Most celebrants were peaceful but several tackled officers, tripped them, knocked their hats off and attempted to incite field-long chases, police said.

One officer was grabbed by the neck from behind and whipped to the turf by a fan wearing a green T-shirt and dark sunglasses. The fan escaped into the mass of people crowded at the 50-yard line.

Reach Peter Boylan at pboylan@honoluluadvertiser.com.