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Man charged for scratching, spitting on arresting officers

The Maui News

WAILUKU — Bail was set at $16,400 for a homeless man who scratched and spit on police officers as he was being arrested Sunday for stealing a 40-ounce can of beer from a Kahului store, according to police.

Francisco Saenz, 33, also was charged for scratching and spitting on a police officer in the Wailuku Police Station cellblock after his arrest.

He was charged with three counts of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, three counts of harassment and fourth-degree theft.

According to declarations filed in court, a police officer approached Saenz at 11:30 a.m. Sunday while investigating a report that he stole the beer from Safeway in Kahului. Saenz threw a cardboard sign that hit the officer in the chest, then ran, police said.

The officer located Saenz at the store gas station, where he threw a traffic cone that the officer deflected, police said.

Saenz struggled as officers tried to arrest him, yelling, kicking, spitting and grabbing at officers before being handcuffed, police said. He grabbed and scratched one officer’s forearm and scratched another officer’s palm, according to police.

Saenz was transported to the police station, where he was shackled to a bed because of his combative behavior, according to a declaration.

At 5:15 p.m., he was being moved into another cell when he became combative, was taken to the ground and slapped an officer on the cheek, police said. Saenz spit at the officer and a police recruit before rushing the officer and scratching his face, according to police.

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