LIHUE —A bar fight between two men over a woman left one man hospitalized with a bloody nose and hefty hospital bills.
The defense attorney for Shanan Leroy Ted Kaui, 45, said his client was on his way out of Big Wave Dave’s in Kapaa in July 2014 after noticing that another man “was making a scene.”
The other man was with a woman, a family friend of Kaui, and when she reached in to kiss Kaui, the other man took offense, said Michael Soong, defense attorney for Kaui.
“He literally said, ‘She’s my woman. She’s going home with me,’” Soong said in court Thursday.
As Kaui exited the bar, the other man followed him with a bottle, Soong told the court.
They both took swings at the same time, Soong said. The other man came at Kaui in an aggressive manner and Kaui believed that if he didn’t swing, he was going to get hit, Soong argued.
“Unfortunately, whoever gets the worst injuries is seen as the victim,” Soong said. “Mr. Kaui was seen as the defendant. We’re asking the court to follow the plea agreement.”
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sally Tobin told the court the bar fight — where she said she assumed “everyone probably had too much to drink” — was so bad that the victim ended up in the emergency room.
She said the state heard “very conflicting stories by various witnesses who were friends of this side or friends of that side.”
“Mr. Kaui still hasn’t taken responsibility for his actions,” Tobin said. “He just said I’m sorry I left.”
In his statement letter to the court, Kaui wrote that he was acting in self-defense.
Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge Randal Valenciano asked him whether he wanted to take his case to trial because he could potentially assert a self-defense argument before a jury.
Soong said he would accept the plea pending the restitution of $100.
On March 15, the state and Kaui entered a plea deal to drop his felony second-degree assault charge to a petty misdemeanor third-degree assault due to injuries as a result of a fight and entered as through mutual consent.
A petty misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 as opposed to a class C felony, which is punishable by five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
But Valenciano was not satisfied with the amount of restitution that the state was asking Kaui to pay.
“Is this what your victim witness advocates?” Valenciano said. “Research would indicate that it’s only $100?”
The prosecutor said the copay amount the victim had to pay was only $100, but that HMSA had paid about $1,100 to cover the hospital bills.
The court said the actual amount was $3,897.56.
Soong then said that his client would only accept the plea agreement and the sentencing imposed if the restitution amount was $100. He asked the court if he could have some time to possibly withdraw his plea.
The court agreed and said it would make a decision in 30 days.