Golfer assaults water balloon-throwing kids

An irate golfer has been arrested for allegedly attacking two North Shore sixth graders Saturday along the second hole of the Princeville Makai Golf Course.

A third boy apparently started the incident when he threw a water balloon at the golfer’s cart.

The boys, who all live in Princeville and are students at Hanalei Elementary School, were hanging out along the course Saturday morning.

The golfer has been identified by the Kaua’i Police Department as Donald Edward Joseph, Sr., 53, of Burien, Wash. He was playing the Lakes Nine of the Makai Golf Course.

Joseph was arrested at 11:45 a.m. Saturday for two counts of assault in the third degree against the two 11-year-olds. He was later released. A 12-year-old boy who was not assaulted was also detained at 12:50 p.m. on a charge of third-degree assault for throwing a water balloon. All three boys were released to their parents.

Third degree assault is a misdemeanor offense, defined as bodily injury caused “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly,” or “negligently, with a dangerous instrument.”

Margie Scott, a mother of one of the boys, said the sixth graders were hiding behind trees and shrubs with one water balloon each. One boy, 11 years old, dropped his and a second boy, also 11, threw his and hit a tree. As Joseph was taking a swing, the third boy, the 12 years old, threw his balloon, which hit the wheel of a golf cart.

The boys started running away, but Joseph threw down his golf club and chased them around a corner and tackled Scott’s son and hit him in the jaw, Scott alleges.

One boy’s shoe was hurled by the golfer to the roof of a nearby house, while a hat was used to strike the second kid in the face, Scott claimed, and another shoe from a boy was used to swat one of the boys, before it was thrown onto the roof of the same house. The 12-year-old apparently wasn’t assaulted.

The mother of one of the 11-year-olds, Kelly Hoen, general manager of the Princeville Resort, was taking a walk and saw the boys and the golfer. She rushed up and took the boys away to a nearby house. Hoen then called Princeville security guards, who transferred the call to the Kaua’i Police Department. Officer Kyle Okamura responded from Hanalei substation at 10:40 a.m.

Hanalei KPD Lt. K.C. Lum said that because the alleged victims are juveniles and the incident is under investigation, he could not verify specific details.

Joseph was not able to be reached.

Scott and her son drove around the course with police, and the boy identified Joseph, who had continued to golf and was still on the course.

Makai Course golf professional Kenneth Caldwell said that this incident is the first of its kind in his 10 years at the course.

Princeville Resort director of security Coppin Colburn acknowledged the golf course incident but said hotel policy prohibited him from releasing details.

Princeville Corporation cited the three boys for trespassing and they are banned from the golf course for a year.

Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at kmanguchei@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 252).

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