Manuel Kupahu Jr., shown in court on Tuesday, testified yesterday that he went after Edward Van Lier Ribbink at Waimanalo Beach Park but did not intend to hurt him. Manuel is flanked by co-defendant Guy Meyers' attorney, Michael Park, left, and Manuel's attorney, Jeff Hawk.

Beating suspect
implicates kin

A man admits his son and
cousin were with him at
a confrontation

One of three men on trial in Circuit Court for beating a man at Waimanalo Beach Park implicated both his co-defendants yesterday as being present.

Manuel Kupahu Jr. admitted that they went after Edward Van Lier Ribbink but did not intend to hurt him.

Kupahu, 53, his son Robert K. Kupahu, 28, and cousin Guy Meyers, 40, are accused of first-degree assault for causing serious bodily injury to Van Lier Ribbink last March. Manuel Kupahu is also charged with cruelty to animals for beating his dog, which prompted Van Lier Ribbink to intervene.

Robert Kupahu and Meyers deny causing Van Lier Ribbink serious bodily injury.

Manuel Kupahu denies ever touching Van Lier Ribbink. He contends he "whacked" his dog and dunked it several times in the water "'cause it no listen -- discipline."

On the stand yesterday, Manuel Kupahu acknowledged that in the statement he gave to a detective, he named his son Robert, Meyers and another male as being with him during the confrontation with Van Lier Ribbink.

"I went up the hill, my boy them came over and the guy was running away and we went take care of business," Manuel Kupahu told the detective.

But he said Meyers' involvement was limited to a confrontation with Van Lier Ribbink in the parking lot and not the subsequent assault that occurred closer to the park pavilion.

When asked by the detective what they did when they caught up to Van Lier Ribbink, Manuel Kupahu replied, "Whack 'em."

"All three got involved? All three got their licks in?" the detective asked, and Manuel Kupahu agreed.

Manuel Kupahu also told the detective he was "right there" and telling his son to "go ahead, go ahead," but did not mean for them to assault Van Lier Ribbink. "I never like them beat up the guy," Kupahu Jr. said.

"When I saw my son hit 'em in the eye, I pulled him back," he said. But he did not stop the others from hitting Van Lier Ribbink. "I never tell them take care of my business."

Later, Kupahu Jr. told the detective, "I'll be the one to take the blame 'cause I went call them."

When asked by his attorney Jeff Hawk what he meant when he said that, Kupahu said he did not call his son and the others to "lick" Van Lier Ribbink.

"They supposed to go down there and talk to the guy," he said. "Whatever they did, I had to take the blame."


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