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.

More from People

We're clearly entering a golden age of socially conscious athletes. As the United States undergoes one of its most important eras of social upheaval since ...
Next week, a bill that bars Louisiana strip clubs from hiring dancers under the age of 21 goes into effect, and while it's been in discussion for some ...
We want to get something out the way. This is not "the most 2016 image ever." The most 2016 image ever is, like, Donald Trump being scared by a bird. But...
For me, this video was a big milestone, especially since I invited so many of my trans-friends to be in it. I feel like I can finally show myself and say I...
Kerry Washington has spent enough time as Washington, D.C., fixer-in-chief Olivia Pope to know political spin when she sees it. When the always-...
Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower behind the leaks that exposed the Abu Ghraib scandal, scored a major legal victory today when she won the right to ...
There are many, many reasons to love Chrissy Teigen, not the least of which is the model's rather amazing willingness to speak her mind (usually via ...
Phyllis Schlafly, 92-year-old conservative activist and author, died Monday afternoon at her home in St. Louis after a battle with cancer, according to ...
Hillary Clinton's campaign staff now includes a two-time Olympic medalist. According to New York magazine's Daily Intelligencer, silver medal-winning ...
Hillary Clinton pens an exclusive essay for R29 about the power women have to make change in the world — from her undercover work exposing segregation in ...
President Obama is just as excited about the Olympics as you are. In a video posted to the White House's YouTube account on Monday, Barack and Michelle ...
Presidential candidates know all too well the perils of failing to secure domain names related to their monikers and campaigns. TedCruz.com, for example...
In the wake of Barack Obama’s rousing speech last night, you may have noticed a strange tweet. Vox editor Matthew Yglesias made an oddly specific reference...
After Bill Clinton finished his long but inspiring speech, we were feeling spent. The Democratic National Convention schedulers must have sensed that. ...