Referee files charges
against Konawaena player

KAILUA-KONA » Police in Kona are investigating an assault complaint filed by a referee who says he was attacked by a Konawaena High School basketball player during a game.

The player, senior Kainoa Abril, 18, was suspended from school for the rest of the year.

The complaint against Abril was filed by Mason Souza, who alleges that he was assaulted by Abril after ejecting him from the regular-season championship game between Konawaena and Waiakea on Feb. 9.

Abril took responsibility for what happened.

"I just snapped. I just lost it," Abril said yesterday. "I wanted to be in the game and I wanted to be part of the team and I felt the ref was taking away me being there, but I took myself away more."

The results of the police investigation will be forwarded to the Big Island prosecutor's office for a decision on whether charges should be filed, said police spokesman Buck Donham.

Konawaena athletic director Lyle Crozier said Abril has also been dismissed from the team and also will not be allowed to play any sports for the rest of the year.

Officials of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation met in Hilo yesterday afternoon to discuss the situation.

Keith Morioka, the group's executive secretary, earlier said the league planned no action because Konawaena had complied with league policy.

A videotape of the game shows that Abril twice shoved a Waiakea player. Moments after both players were ejected, Abril ran off the bench and tried to tackle Souza.

Because an ejection carries a one-game suspension, Waiakea coach Jay Bartholomew submitted the videotape to the league, and successfully argued for the player's reinstatement. He said his player had not retaliated.

Konawaena coach Donald Awa said he agreed that Abril should have been ejected from the game and that the Waiakea player should have been reinstated.

Abril also was ejected from a preseason game on Dec. 16 and was held out of competition for a month, Crozier said. After that incident, a meeting was held with Abril's parents and they were told to attend every Konawaena game, he said.

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