‘Only so much a man can take’

LIHUE — An Anahola man was given 60 days jail and probation for breaking a friend’s nose and teeth with one punch.

Reef Robles Oana, 33, apologized to the court and said he regretted his actions. He then went on to say that he was provoked into the fight, when a friend who had been drinking followed him closely and egged him on.

“There is only so much a man can take, your honor,” Oana said.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sally Tobin said the defendant’s words continue to express his blaming of the victim for the assault. With one punch, Oana broke the victim’s nose and several of his teeth, she added.

The state recommended 60 days jail with probation, since Oana had a record that included serving 30 days for an offense.

State Deputy Public Defender Stephanie Sato said there was some drinking involved and that the plea agreement arose in part from questions about the level of involvement of all the parties in the altercation.

The incident occurred on May 29, 2013. Oana had a permit to use a county softball field for the day, and the victim and his wife were among the people who joined in the game. Oana took it to mean that the play ended when the field lights were turned off, but the victim wanted to keep playing. Words were exchanged, Sato said. Oana had a bat in his hand, and unfortunately, punched the victim causing serious bodily damage.

Oana was arrested and charged with felony second-degree assault the same day. He pleaded no contest to an amended misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault on March 31.

Sato said there was a case for self-defense, but it was an imperfect one, so Oana agreed to the plea bargain and the court agreed to abide by the terms of the agreement.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe said the police report noted that Oana struck the victim once, while the probation department’s pre-sentencing report said he was struck several times. There were also various versions of what occurred, but there was no doubt that the victim suffered a painful injury, she said.

Watanabe added the defendant had the benefit of a deferred acceptance of a no-contest plea in a previous assault case. She sentenced Oana to one year probation, 60 days jail, and a stay away order from the victim.

Watanabe also ordered Oana to write a letter of apology to the victim.

“I think the state’s recommendation is very fair,” Watanabe said.

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