Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Police hold man
in Waikiki attacks

He allegedly assaults 3 people,
1 of whom drowned after
being pushed into the canal

By Debra Barayuga and Rod Antone

Janet Kahue, the mother of the Waikiki man accused of fatally attacking former Star-Bulletin writer Jack Wyatt yesterday morning, had obtained a temporary restraining order against him in June 1995, according to court records.

She alleged he had assaulted her about a month earlier.

She said her son was taking kitchen knives and putting them around the Makaloa Street condo where they lived. She noted his acts scared her because he blamed her and his father for his problems and "mental illness."

Witnesses sought

Witnesses and people who were in the area of Seaside and Ala Wai yesterday between 8 and 8:15 a.m. are asked to call HPD's homicide detail at 529-3078.

Cline Kahue this morning continued to be held in police custody without charges. He is accused of pushing the 71-year-old Wyatt, who often jogged along the Ala Wai Canal, into the water about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday. Wyatt apparently struck his head and then drowned.

Police said after Kahue pushed Wyatt into the Ala Wai, he continued running Ewa-bound, then punched a woman in her face and tackled another woman into the canal.

"They were all unprovoked attacks as far as we can tell," said HPD homicide Lt. Bill Kato. "The suspect didn't know the first guy at all, then he goes down the street and attacks two more people. ... He basically football-tackled the last woman into the water."

Jack Wyatt: Former Star-Bulletin writer is said to have been the man killed in one attack

The first attack took place before 8:15 a.m. near Seaside Avenue and Ala Wai Boulevard, about three blocks away from where Kahue lives on Walina Street. The punching incident took place four blocks down Ala Wai near Launiu Street, and the last one, which sent Kahue and the third victim into the water, was near Olohana Street.

After his arrest, Kahue was taken to Queen's Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation. He was released back to police custody yesterday after the hospital determined he was no longer a danger, said homicide Lt. Bill Kato.

Court records show Kahue had a history of assault and mental illness. According to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, Kahue was convicted of one assault in 1996, then acquitted of four more assaults that happened in 1997 because of "mental incapacity." He also had been involuntarily committed for 90 days to the psychiatric ward at Queen's Medical Center.

The restraining order his mother obtained against him was effective until July 18, 1998. His mother's application for the order did not specify the type of mental illness. But serving instructions from Family Court to police for his arrest in February 1996, indicated the illness was schizophrenia.

The officer who arrested him indicated Kahue was a substitute teacher for the Department of Education. The DOE said he was a substitute teacher for the 1988-89 school year.

Wyatt was a freelance reporter who worked for the Star-Bulletin sports section for 25 years before he retired in 1998. He lived in Manoa along Oahu Avenue and was often seen by his former co-workers walking around town.

"He walked everywhere," said Lyle Nelson, who retired from the Star-Bulletin in 1981 after working as a reporter for 31 years. "I just saw him on Sunday."

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