Haiku man who assaulted neighbor gets one year in jail

Defendant broke into neighbor’s house while drunk

WAILUKU — Saying a Haiku man who illegally entered a neighbor’s residence to assault him wanted to show “everyone he was the boss,” 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen sentenced Osmani Michel Garcia to one year in jail with credit for time served.

“You let everyone in that area know that what you say goes, and you even told the police that,” Bissen said during sentencing on May 10. “You told them (police) they could leave and you didn’t need them.”

Garcia, 51, was arrested after police were called to a property in the 800 block of Kokomo Road at 11:12 p.m. Jan. 31, 2018. He was convicted by a 2nd Circuit Court jury on Feb. 13 for first-degree burglary and third-degree assault.

What was at first reported as disorderly conduct escalated to someone breaking into a house and hurting someone, officer William Tau’a, who arrived on scene six minutes after the call, said during the trial.

He said he could smell alcohol on Garcia, who had slurred speech and was yelling. While officer Emmett Kawahara stayed with Garcia, Tau’a said he talked with victim, Jason Schrock, who appeared to be “timid.”

Testifying in the trial, Schrock said Garcia was “yelling to turn down the music” when he entered Schrock’s residence. “I did not fight back,” Schrock said, saying that he fell into a window as he backed away from Garcia.

Schrock suffered a cut on his finger when an oscillating fan was thrown at him, said Deputy Prosecutor Brandon Segal during the trial.

Prior to sentencing, Garcia, who at times used a Spanish interpreter, said in English that he now knows better and thanked Bissen.

“Thank you so much for your help,” he said. “I learned my lesson to not go inside the house. I learned my lesson to not do it again and to call the police the next time this happen.”

Bissen responded by saying that what stands out most about the trial, though “it’s not easy to remember all the trials; they sometimes can start to blend together,” is that body cam video footage from police officers arriving on scene showed just how angry Garcia was that night.

“You were challenging them (police),” Bissen said. “You made it clear that you did not have to call them, that you were the police of that place.”

Bissen echoed that Garcia was wrong to take matters into his own hands.

“I’m here to remind you that you were wrong . . . to think you could take care of it yourself,” Bissen said. “You were wrong to think you had more authority than the police or even of your neighbors.”

In addition to jail time, Garcia was given four years’ probation, along with court and other fees. Also, he must refrain from drinking alcohol and from being around people who drink.

According to his attorney, Garcia had been incarcerated for this case since October.

During sentencing, Bissen said that he agrees Garcia has learned his lesson, as stated in a remorseful letter Garcia submitted to court during presentencing investigation.

“I’m sorry it’s taken you all of this to learn,” Bissen said. “But I agree with you, I don’t think you will do this again. I think that’s true.”

* Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at kcerizo@mauinews.com.

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