Kauai-born surfer fought attackers, officer testifies
SAN DIEGO » A Kauai surfer beaten to death in California last year by street thugs tried in vain to fight off his attackers.
San Diego police officer Benjamin Manansala testified Monday that 24-year-old professional surfer Emery Kauanui Jr. of Anahola struggled after he was knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked by a group of young men.
The testimony came during a Monday preliminary hearing to determine if five alleged gang members will face trial for Kauanui's murder.
Prosecutors say the men followed Kauanui home after a disagreement over a spilled drink at a nearby bar. Kauanui died five days after he was found beaten in front of his mother's La Jolla home.
Seth Cravens, Eric House, Orlando Osuna, Matthew Yanke and Henri Hendricks, ages 21 to 23, are facing murder and assault charges.