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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

FATAL FIGHT AT ALA WAI BOAT HARBOR




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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Sarah Dean, left, an acquaintance of Kirk Hodges, who was killed yesterday in an early morning stabbing near the Ala Wai Boat Harbor, talked about the victim.




Dispute over noise
escalates with
knives drawn

A noted amateur surfer was stabbed in the back eight times and died from his injuries, another man drowned, and two other people were hospitalized after a fight at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor early yesterday.


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Kirk Hodges: Many remember the surfer as being willing to stand up for his friends


Kirk Hodges, 50, died from stab wounds to the heart and lungs. Another man was also stabbed and in critical condition at the Queen's Medical Center. A third victim, a 42-year-old woman, is in serious condition at Queen's after being stabbed in the arms and upper torso.

One of the suspects in the stabbings, identified as 18-year-old Frederick Flores, drowned after running away into the harbor less than 50 yards from the crime scene.

Police have arrested four other males, ages 22, 20 and 18, and a juvenile for suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

According to police, a group of seven to 10 young adults and juveniles arrived in the parking lot at about 2:10 a.m., where they started to drink and listen to their car stereos.

The noise prompted some of the local surfers who were sleeping in their vehicles nearby to warn the younger group to settle down or the police would come and kick everyone out of the parking lot.

"They were down there making a lot of noise and the surfers were asking them to be quiet," police homicide Lt. Bill Kato said.

According to police, the female victim and the male victim who is now hospitalized confronted the younger group, prompting two men to arm themselves with knives and stab them.

The commotion woke up Hodges, who was nearby in his van. He tried to break up the fight but was stabbed, police said.

After the stabbing, there was a "mass of confusion" involving people from both groups running "in all different directions," Kato said. Some of those running included Flores, who ended up drowning in harbor waters between the crime scene and the Ilikai Hotel, police said.

Police said it appears no one pushed Flores into the water, and his drowning so far is being classified as an unattended death. Police also said that Flores has no significant wounds on his body to indicate that he was attacked.

"So far, that's what it looks like," Kato said. "We still need to do an autopsy."

Police recovered a folding buck knife with a four-inch bloodied blade near where Flores went into the water, and they said it may be one of the weapons used in the stabbings.




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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
A dog that belonged to Kirk Hodges sat yesterday in a parked van near Ala Wai Boat Harbor. Hodges was staying overnight in the van with his girlfriend when he went out to investigate a fight early yesterday morning. Two minutes later, according to his girlfriend, Hodges was dead.





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Friends of the stabbing victims said they were not a gang and considered themselves a group of people who loved the surfing lifestyle and gathering on the beach. They said the people who were stabbed while confronting the youths were not trying to start a fight and were only trying to keep the noise down.

"These guys (the suspects) don't even hang out here," said Daryl Avelino, friend of the victims. "They're not surfers. ... They've got no respect for this place."

Hodges was described as an accomplished surfer who never turned pro but won some amateur events over the years, including a U.S. Amateur Championship in the grandmasters division in July 2000. They said he died close to the van that he lived in and parked wherever the waves were happening. He died standing up for his friends, they said.

"Kirk was the most open-armed man any of us ever met," said friend Sarah Dean. "He was a really gentle man."

His older brother, Jack, who lives in California, described him as "an easygoing, easy-to-get-along-with person."

Born and raised in Hawaii, Kirk Hodges graduated from Kailua High School.

"Surfing, for him, was a very important part of what he did," Jack Hodges said. "It was his passion."

The family was told Kirk was trying to help two friends involved in a confrontation, Hodges said.

"He had a good heart and was always going out of his way to help friends and family," Hodges said. "This is how we will remember him."

Kirk Hodges is also survived by a 19-year-old daughter, Shea, who lives in San Francisco.

Police are asking for the occupants of the two cars that left the scene yesterday morning to contact police at 529-3078 for questioning.

Honolulu Police Department
www.honolulupd.org


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