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Victim IDs man as stabber


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POSTED: Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stabbing victim Antonius Toloai went to Honolulu District Court yesterday, where he identified and faced down the man he says attacked him.

The defendant, Hine Laloulu, is facing a second-degree attempted murder charge for the April 3 stabbing near Pauahi and River streets in Chinatown.

District Judge Leslie Hayashi forwarded Laloulu's case to Circuit Court for trial after yesterday's preliminary hearing.

Defense lawyer Nelson Goo said Laloulu, 22, was at a makeshift memorial in Chinatown, mourning the death of a friend who was shot to death just six days earlier. He said Laloulu may have been experiencing extreme emotional disturbance at the time of the stabbing.

“;On the day in question, just shortly after the person was murdered on River Street, mourners of the decedent were there, which included my client, family (and) friends. (Toloai) was there drinking in disrespect. And that may have precipitated this incident,”; Goo said.

The shooting victim, 35-year-old Joseph Maululu Peneueta, was gunned down March 28.

Police arrested one of two gunmen charged in Peneueta's death, Toloai and another man in Aala Park the day before the shooting for drug promotion but released them hours before the shooting after the men posted bail.

Toloai, 32, said he was at a bus stop across the street from the memorial when a group of seven males approached him. He said Laloulu, whom he knew as Tiny, was one of them. Toloai said he had just one shot of vodka and was not drunk.

He said he ran when Laloulu didn't acknowledge his greeting and the other males started beating his female companion. Toloai said the males beat him after he fell in front of a store.

While he was on his knees, fighting off his attackers, Toloai said, Laloulu stabbed him once in the stomach. He said he didn't have a chance to say anything during the attack.

“;I had to fight back for my life. I didn't want him to kill me,”; Toloai said.

He said four other males also stabbed him. But he said he didn't realize he had been stabbed until after his surgery at the Queen's Medical Center.

Dr. Andrew Tan, Queen's trauma surgeon, said Toloai suffered four stab wounds in his abdomen, but none of them punctured his abdominal cavity.

Toloai said a friend, Cedro Muna, chased away his attackers and took him to the hospital. Muna was one of the men police arrested with Toloai the day before Peneueta's murder.

Honolulu Police Chief Boisse Correa attributed the recent violence in Chinatown to drugs and the fight for turf involving a gang from San Francisco, from where Toloai and the two shooting suspects originate.