Fatal stabbing allegedly stemmed from handshake
A tiff over a firm handshake led to a fatal stab wound to the heart Christmas night, according to court documents.
Eighteen-year-old Fusitogamala Savea was sitting with friends on the steps next to Sunny's Market in Kalihi just before midnight, on the night of Dec. 25, when they called out to an apparently drunken man, staggering and falling down, to sit down before he hurt himself, a police affidavit said.
A man, later identified as R.J. Ham, came up to Savea and his friends and told them he was checking on his uncle, the man who appeared drunk.
Ham shook hands with them, squeezing Savea's hand hard, the affidavit said.
A witness told police Savea asked Ham, "Why you shake my hand hard for?"
Ham replied, "I just came to watch my uncle."
That led to an exchange of words, and Ham allegedly pulled a knife from his back pocket and stabbed Savea once in the chest shortly after midnight Dec. 26.
Ham fled the area with the knife, police said.
Savea stumbled to the guard shack at the Linapuni Street entrance to Kuhio Park Terrace, where he collapsed.
He was taken by ambulance to the Queen's Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m. Dec. 26.
Ham is being held on $1 million bail and was charged Thursday with second-degree murder. He is scheduled to appear in district court Monday.
Police received a tip and found Ham at a Waipahu apartment on Pupupuhi Street, where they arrested him Wednesday.