‘Big Bruddah’ allegedly beat people
A former school coach is on trial, accused of ordering violent crime
A Nanakuli man ordered the use of violence against rival security groups to gain control of security at illegal game rooms across Oahu, federal prosecutors allege.
Robert Kaialau III, 37, a former riflery coach at Kapolei High School, went on trial yesterday in U.S. District Court, charged in a Feb. 28 indictment with four counts of violent crime in aid of a racketeering activity.
Ten co-defendants pleaded guilty earlier and await sentencing. Of the 10, nine are expected to testify for the government against Kaialau.
Kaialau is considered the leader of the illegal enterprise, which provided security and protection to various legitimate nightclubs, including Club Pearlridge, Mystics, Exotic Nights and Evolution, as well as a number of illegal game rooms in Honolulu, federal prosecutors said.
He is accused of ordering the takeover of at least two game rooms within a week in the summer of 2003 and replacing them with his security group.
He is also accused of ordering an assault on the owner of a Young Street gambling business because he refused to give Kaialau and his men the contract to protect his game room.
One of the men recruited by Kaialau because of his reputation as a fighter testified yesterday that Kaialau called himself the "Godfather" or "Big Bruddah" who would talk about "building our empire" by taking over as many illegal game rooms as possible.
Nepo Leutu, 40, said he met Kaialau in 2000 when Kaialau asked him to work for him as security at the Exotic Nights club. About a year later, Kaialau approached him to work as security at illegal gambling houses, where Leutu was paid $100 to $500 a night. As a bouncer he averaged only $80 to $100 per shift.
Leutu testified that Kaialau and his men beat up competing security or gaming operators who would not hire him in 2003.
Leutu was placed under federal witness protection after he said he began receiving threats on his work phone indicating he would be dead in three days.
In August and September he would arrive at work to find "Die Rat" spray-painted on the doors, swimming pool and city park building where he worked, federal authorities said.
Shortly after Leutu left the courtroom, the prosecution notified U.S. District Judge David Ezra that Leutu reported seeing Kaialau's father, who sat in the audience, blowing him a kiss during his testimony. "He took that as the kiss of death," said Assistant U.S Attorney Tom Brady.
Ezra said that he personally had not witnessed the alleged gesture and would have taken immediate action had he seen it. Calling the behavior unacceptable, Ezra warned that if he caught anyone making any gestures, threats or remarks to witnesses or anyone in the courtroom that would be construed as intimidation, the person would be held in contempt.
If convicted, Kaialau faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.