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Tuesday, May 10, 2005



Pro fighter charged
with punching officer
outside Waikiki nightclub

A professional fighter assaulted a police officer who was attempting to break up a crowd of men fighting outside a Waikiki nightclub, according to an affidavit filed yesterday at District Court.

B.J. "Jay" Penn, 26, was charged Sunday for first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer. Penn, of Hilo, is the first American to be named a black-belt world champion in Brazilian jiujitsu, and he competes in mixed martial arts bouts.

According to the affidavit, police officer Richardson Pouoa was working as a special-duty officer at the Waikiki Trade Center to monitor Zanzabar Night Club when he heard a scream coming from Seaside Avenue about 3:10 a.m. Sunday.

He saw a large group of people on Seaside Avenue. After he broke up the affray, Pouoa saw another group of men fighting in the street.

As Pouoa attempted to break up the group, Penn turned and cursed at Pouoa. The affidavit stated that Penn and the rest of the group refused to comply after Pouoa repeatedly told them to leave the area.

After Penn failed to comply, Pouoa sprayed Penn with pepper spray, the affidavit said.

Penn then jumped into a dark-colored vehicle that headed mauka on Seaside to Kuhio Avenue, according to the affidavit. Pouoa continued to break up the large crowd when Penn returned on foot.

Penn punched Pouoa on his left cheek before he ran, according to the affidavit. Pouoa caught Penn and detained him.

Pouoa, a 15-year veteran with the Honolulu Police Department, was treated for facial injuries.

Penn was released Sunday after he posting $20,000 bail.



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