Gas dousing leads to assault charge

The man initially accused of attempted murder after dousing a police officer with gasoline and pulling out a lighter will instead face sentencing for charges of terroristic threatening and assault.

Payton Rapozo, 21, pleaded guilty to the charges of first-degree attempted assault and first-degree terroristic threatening Tuesday. The charges could likely yield up to 10 years in prison, Prosecuting Attorney Craig De Costa said.

The charges stem from a Jan. 7 altercation Rapozo had with police at the Kapa‘a Family Project.

According to police statements in Rapozo’s court file, police officer Christopher Gandeza was responding to a domestic abuse call involving a couple arguing about a damaged car, when Rapozo began walking toward him with two knives in his left hand behind his back and gasoline in a cup in his right hand.

Witness testimony contained in Rapozo’s court file stated that Rapozo flung the contents of the cup onto Gandeza and began waving the knives around. He then lunged at the officer.

The witness testimony also states that Gandeza pulled out his firearm and told Rapozo to drop the knives, at which point Rapozo dropped the knives and pulled out a lighter from his pocket.

One of the witnesses then grabbed Rapozo and helped subdue him until backup arrived.

After he was arrested, Rapozo kicked and damaged the window of the squad car.

Rapozo’s sentencing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. July 12.

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