Hawaii police officers arrested for allegedly making homeless man lick urinal

Public restroom in the center of city
Photo credit: File

Two Hawaii police officers have been arrested after they allegedly forced a homeless man to lick a urinal in a public bathroom.

The pair has been charged with violating the man's civil rights.

Officers John Rabago and Reginald Ramones responded to a trespassing complaint in 2018.

When they discovered the homeless man, they allegedly forced him to put his mouth on a urinal, reports Yahoo News.

The duo were arrested on Friday.

Rabago and Ramones face up to 11 years in prison, and a $350,000 (NZD$517,651.75) fine. 

They both pleaded not guilty in federal court on Friday.

"Something that started as a joke or a miscomment was turned into a federal case," Rabago's attorney Megan Kau told USA Today.

"We plan on going to trial immediately because I don't believe this complainant is credible."

The alleged incident was reported by another officer last year, and the police department turned the case over to the FBI, reports NBC.

It is understood the two officers were placed on unpaid leave.

"The two officers who were arrested will have their day in court and be held accountable for their actions," Honolulu police chief Susan Ballard said in a statement to Hawaiian news network KITV.

The homeless man's attorney Myles Breiner told KITV that "justice delayed is justice denied".

"This happened over a year ago," he told the network.

Nedwshub.