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Puna man and woman arrested after assault on police officers


A Puna man and woman were arrested Tuesday (July 12) after police were assaulted while attempting to serve several warrants on a fugitive in Pāhoa.

Shortly before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, officers arrived at a Pāhoa Village property seeking 35-year-old Gustavus Morante of Pāhoa, who wanted on four outstanding bench warrants. He was spotted running into the garage after a woman opened the door and let him in.

When police attempted to arrest the man, a struggle ensued with Morante elbowing and punching two officers in the face. Morante also grabbed at an officer’s firearm and “Taser,” which were secured in their holsters, but was unsuccessful at removing them.

The woman grabbed an officer’s arms and attempted to pull him off the suspect to help Morante escape.

The officers were treated by Fire Department medics for minor injuries.

Morante and the woman, identified as 29-year-old Minne Ann Silva of Pāhoa, were taken into custody.

Morante was initially arrested and charged with two counts of failure to appear and two counts of contempt of court with bail set at $900. He was later charged with the additional offenses of resisting arrest and two felony counts of assaulting a police officer. His bail on those offenses was set at $21,000.

Silva was charged with hindering prosecution, a misdemeanor. Her bail was set at $1,000.

Both suspects were expected to be held at the Hilo police cellblock pending their initial court appearances scheduled for Wednesday (July 13).

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