Oahu man is wanted in fatal beating
U.S. marshals want the 26-year-old man who was charged in the 2004 assault
U.S. marshals are seeking John Wilfred Penitani, who fled the state after he and another man allegedly beat a man to death because the victim urinated in a pickup truck on Kona Street two years ago.
Penitani, 26, is wanted on federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and state charges of second-degree murder stemming from the death of Mikiala "Keola" Kahalewai on April 19, 2004. Police said Penitani fled Hawaii prior to an Oahu grand jury charging him with murder about a month later.
Both Penitani and Ulutunu S. Faumuina Jr. allegedly beat Kahalewai after the victim was seen urinating in Faumuina's Ford pickup truck parked outside the Pachinko Karaoke Bar on Kona Street, witnesses told police.
According to a police affidavit, witnesses saw Faumuina first punch the victim and knock him to the ground, and that two more men joined in on the beating and kicked and punched Kahalewai while he lay motionless in the street. He was transported to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition and was later pronounced dead.
Police initially arrested Faumuina and were looking for two other suspects, but they later said that only one other suspect was involved. Then on May 5, 2004, a state grand jury indicted Faumuina and Penitani and set bail at $100,000 each. By then, police said Penitani had fled to California.
On June 8, 2005, federal law enforcement issued a warrant for Penitani's arrest. He is featured on the U.S. Marshals Service's upcoming 10 most wanted list, and the public is urged to "use extreme caution," according to its Web site.
According to the latest description of Penitani, he is 6 feet 5 inches tall, weighs about 420 pounds and has black bushy hair and brown eyes. He also has a tattoo of a weight scale on his upper right arm. A description released by Honolulu police last year listed him at 350 pounds.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the U.S. Marshals Service Warrants Section at 808-541-3000 or Deputy U.S. Marshal Glenn Ferreira at 808-541-3884. Calls may also be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or by dialing *CRIME on a cellular phone.