8-04-22 Puna Officer Honored for Lifesaving Efforts in Kidnapping Incident

For his exceptional investigative police work and lifesaving efforts during an incident involving the kidnapping and torture of a male victim, Officer Michael Sailer was honored as Officer of the Month for June 2022 by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i during a ceremony Thursday, July 14, 2022, in Hilo.

A four-year veteran of the department, Officer Sailer responded to a report of a dispute at a residence in Volcano on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

Upon arrival, Officer Sailer began searching the area initially making a loud announcement of police presence. He heard a male yelling for help one time then it became quiet. Officer Sailer continued calling out “police!” for several minutes with no response.

In the quiet, Officer Sailer could hear heavy breathing coming from inside the residence.

Officer Sailer again called out “police!” and observed what appeared to be a small amount of blood on the front door. While at the front door, he called out “police!” again and a teenage male answered the door. The officer noted that the male was wearing gloves and could hear a man yell for help from inside the residence.

Asking the teen to step out from the residence, Officer Sailer entered the front room and discovered a man lying on the floor handcuffed with his feet zip-tied and a second man kneeling on top of the male victim. In addition to having his hands and feet restrained, the victim had a rag partially stuffed in his mouth and duct taped.

The man kneeling on the victim told officers that there was a restraining order and that the tied up male had broken the law.

After securing the residence, Officer Sailer found tactical gear, an assault rifle, a pistol, ammunition, and evidence of a kidnapping and assault that had taken place in the residence. In the course of investigation, Officer Sailer discovered that the victim had been held against his will within the residence and assaulted. It appeared that the two males in the residence may have intended on killing the victim and covering up the incident.

The two males involved were eventually charged with a variety of crimes, including kidnapping and assault.

Officer Sailer’s perseverance to uncover what had transpired that evening in Volcano resulted in him interrupting a potential homicide in the making. Through his efforts, a life was saved, two violent suspects were apprehended, and multiple firearms were safely recovered.

Every month the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i honors a police officer in East Hawaii as their officer of the month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the police districts in Area I, including Hāmākua, North Hilo, South Hilo, and Puna, and a winner is selected. All officers selected for Officer of the Month are eligible to be selected as the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i Officer of the Year.

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