Man arrested after allegedly hitting officer with baton

Eric Stroeve

Eric Stroeve

A man was arrested after he took a police officer’s baton and struck him as they struggled Tuesday night in Paia, according to police.

Eric Stroeve, 49, of Lahaina was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault against a law enforcement officer, second-degree assault, resisting arrest, fourth-degree theft, second-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal property damage.

He is being held in lieu of $83,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

At 6:37 p.m. Tuesday, a police officer was assigned to investigate a report by the owner of Pome Maui boutique on Hana Highway in Paia that a man had broken into a bathroom for the business and had temporarily disabled the security surveillance system, according to a declaration filed in court.

After being confronted by the owner, the man, later identified as Stroeve, left and walked across the street to an area near a church, according to the declaration.

When the officer located Stroeve sitting on a bench, he was trying to roll a marijuana cigarette, continuing even after the officer told Stroeve to put down the marijuana, police said. Stroeve got his backpack and tried to stand up to leave before the officer pushed him back onto the bench and told Stroeve he was being arrested, police said.

Then Stroeve lunged at the officer, pushing him backward, police said. The officer grabbed Stroeve, who tried to break free, and the two struggled on a grassy area in front of the church, police said.

Stroeve managed to remove the officer’s baton from his belt and swung it at the officer, striking him on his left forehead, according to police.

Eventually, the officer was able to get control of Stroeve and another officer arrived to help handcuff Stroeve, police said.

Both Stroeve and the officer were taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center. The officer was treated for an abrasion on his forehead and bruising on his right ribs and right hand, according to the declaration.

Stroeve was treated for lacerations on the top of his head and under his left eye, police said.

As a felon with a conviction for first-degree terroristic threatening, Stroeve could face mandatory-minimum sentencing if he is convicted of the robbery, assault or burglary charges, according to the complaint against him.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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