Inquiry relegates officer to desk duty
Roosevelt Blanco allegedly fired into the air at a party
An off-duty Honolulu police officer arrested for allegedly using a handgun and rifle during New Year's celebrations to fire multiple shots into the air will work as a clerk until a criminal and administrative investigation is completed, a police spokesman said yesterday.
Police arrested patrol officer Roosevelt A. Blanco, 37, a three-year Honolulu Police Department veteran, at about 12:50 a.m. Tuesday at 94-1538 Waipahu St. after receiving a 911 call about the shots, said police Capt. Frank Fujii. He said police would search for the guns inside Blanco's van.
"Any time somebody does something that jeopardizes public safety, we are deeply concerned," he said, adding there were no injuries during the incident. "And the fact that it was a police officer is very disappointing."
Blanco could not be reached for comment yesterday. Calls placed to the address where he was arrested w0ent unanswered. A police employee said Blanco works an overnight shift that starts at 10 p.m.
It is unknown whether Blanco used department-issued guns or whether he was intoxicated, Fujii said. He said police officers have annual firearms training and that Blanco, who patrolled the Kalihi district, had never been in trouble before.
Fujii said he could not recall a previous case of one of his officers firing a gun into the air.
If found to have broken department rules by firing the shots, Blanco would face a first-degree charge of reckless endangerment, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both, Fujii said.