Beating follows parking lot accident
What began as a minor traffic accident at the Waikele Center parking lot ended in the brutal beating of a young couple by two men and a woman, police said.
Two witnesses told the Star-Bulletin that a large crowd of shoppers watched in horror Monday afternoon as a petite 23-year-old woman was punched in the face by a man and knocked unconscious, and her 26-year-old husband was stomped and kicked in the head. Meanwhile, their son, about 3, sat in the back seat.
Authorities have charged 45-year-old Gerald D. Paakaula of Waianae with second-degree assault. Bail was set at $20,000. His teenage son was also arrested for second-degree assault and referred to Family Court. The woman, Paakaula's wife, was not arrested.
The alleged attack began after the couple's gray Dodge Durango hit the Paakaulas' green Chevrolet while trying to pull into a parking stall, according to a police affidavit. Neither car was damaged, the witnesses said.
The teenage boy in the Chevy got out, angry his vehicle was struck and allegedly began yelling profanities, calling the other driver "f----g haole" and kicking the driver-side door, according to the affidavit.
A 43-year-old female witness, who asked not to be identified, told the Star-Bulletin that the teen began punching the man, who was still sitting in the driver's seat.
The affidavit said the 23-year-old woman got out of the Durango and tried to push the teen away from the vehicle and her husband. At that point the teen's mother jumped in and started fighting with the woman, police said.
The witness said the teen's mother got on top of the woman and began punching her.
Paakaula then came out of the Baskin-Robbins holding ice cream cones, and his wife told him that the other woman hit her, the witness said.
Paakaula allegedly "punched the woman in the face, picked her off her feet and slammed her onto the asphalt," apparently knocking her out momentarily, according to the affidavit.
Another witness, a 65-year-old woman who also asked for anonymity because of fears of retribution, said the woman flew back 10 feet, landing under her car.
The driver of the Durango had gotten out of the car, was allegedly punched in the throat by Paakaula and fell to the ground gasping for air, police said. The teen then allegedly kicked him in the head and face, causing him to convulse, police said.
The teen's mother finally told him to stop after "she sees blood pouring out of this guy's mouth," the 43-year-old witness told the Star-Bulletin. The man's legs pointed straight out and quivered for 15 to 20 minutes, while a nurse in the crowd called 911 and said "he's seizing," she said.
The couple were taken to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition.
The affidavit said both received concussions. The man's eye socket and upper jaw were fractured, and his wife sustained a fractured jaw, nose and wrist.
The older witness told the Star-Bulletin that she was disturbed by the use of racial slurs.
"It's really sad to see," she said. "You would think that we as Hawaiians would have outgrown that."