"I want justice... I will fight and fight even if I lose him." Family of Nanakuli man fighting for his life wants answers from HPD
Chelsey Butay has no idea what really happened to her husband, Mike.
"I ask myself everyday why? Why did they do that to him? Why?" said Chelsey Butay.
She said her husband has some bruising and is hooked up to oxygen tanks at Pali Momi Medical Center in Pearlridge.
"It's not looking so great," she said.
KITV4's cameras could not visit Mike Butay in his hospital room, so Chelsey, Mike's mother, siblings, and other family members met with us outside the hospital. They were holding signs that read, "we love you," "justice for Mike" and "no choke hold." Messages they said are directed at the Honolulu Police Department.
An HPD spokesperson said the incident happened July 30th in Nanakuli just before midnight. An officer observed a 40-year-old man with multiple warrants in an illegal game room.
The officer approached the man, allegedly asked him to leave, but he took off so the officer chased him. According to HPD, during the struggle after the officer caught the man, the officer discharged pepper spray.
Two other officers arrived and the man was processed for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.
Also according to HPD, the man was treated on-scene for pepper spray exposure by Honolulu Emergency Medical Services. Allegedly, he later became unresponsive and was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
HPD reports the officer was treated for injuries and released.
Following standard department procedure an investigation is underway.
Chelsey Butay said shes received very little information from HPD about what happened. The information she did get she said does not match witness accounts nor what she herself saw when she arrived on-scene that night.
"One cop went handcuffed him and the other two cops was kicking him," she said. "When I got to him he was on the train tracks. I'm asking - I'm trying to question, like, how did he get there? No story is adding up."
She said one witness heard Mike yell out, "I can't breathe."
"When I got to my husband he was already - he couldn't talk. I kept telling the officers that you got to help him. He's not responding to you. But they refused."
Chelsey alleges HPD failed to render aid and now Mike is on life support.
"The doctor said that he went without oxygen for 25 minutes," she said.
KITV4 asked HPD if body cameras were used and if the footage is available. We have not heard back yet.
Mike Butay's older sister said her brother has had past run-ins with the law.
"He's not one harmful man. He's not one murderer. They was looking for him and they took him down like that," said Chelsey Butay. "It was unnecessary and now we're suffering. Now I suffering. Our boys' suffering."
Mike and Chelsey Butay have two children and expecting a third.
"I want justice. I'm not going to let them get away with this. I'm not. And I will fight and fight even if I lose him," she said.
Butay said the family plans to seek legal help.