Vacationing Lesbian Couple Beaten, Arrested For PDA In Hawaii

A lesbian couple saw their dream vacation turn into a nightmare when they were harassed by an off-duty police officer for the crime of showing affection in a supermarket.

The Honolulu Police Department began an internal investigation Wednesday into the conduct of the officer, who allegedly became enraged when he saw the couple kissing and holding hands. Officer Bobby Harrison allegedly shoved Taylor Guerrero to the ground and punched Courtney Wilson in the face before ordering bystanders to hold the pair on the ground while he found zipties.

Wilson and Guerrero are suing the HPD in Federal court.

The lawsuit says Harrison, shopping in the North Shore Foodland while wearing his uniform, "observed their consensual romantic contact and, in a loud voice, ordered plaintiffs to stop and 'take it somewhere else.'” They moved away from Harrison, continuing to shop, according to the lawsuit. But when Harrison saw them continuing to be affectionate, he threatened to toss them off the premises. They had almost checked out when Harrison grabbed Wilson’s wrist, prompting her to call 911, she says.

"He was bumping his belly against Courtney," Guerrero told the Associated Press. "He said, 'you girls don't know how to act. You don't know the difference between a motel and a grocery store.'"

After they were ziptied, they were brought to the store’s basement, where they say the harassment continued. Wilson’s nose was split open but she says she was refused medical attention at the scene and following her arrest.

There were surveillance cameras all over the store that would have captured the initial encounters at least, but that video has gone inexplicably missing.

Police arrested Wilson and Guerrero, charging them both with felony assault on an officer. Each spent three days in jail and they say they were forced to pay a bondsman $1,300 for $12,000-each bail. As a condition of their release, they were forced to stay on the island until the charges were dropped five months later.

Wilson told reporters she “want[s] an example to be made.”

The pair stayed with family friends, acquaintances, and even once in a park. They found temporary jobs cleaning vacation rentals, but largely burned through their savings. Their arrest occurred on the second day of their first visit to Hawaii.

Officer Harrison, who has served 26 years on the force, remains on full active duty.