LIHUE —A man who is said to have fired a weapon after his dog was mauled to death by a neighbor’s dog was sentenced to time served and probation Wednesday.
The incident occurred on Christmas Eve, December 2014, after 35-year-old Kenyon Aaron Kaz Kapp’s dog and the complaining witnesses’ dog came into contact, defense attorney Dan Hempey told the court at sentencing. Kapp is the defendant in the case.
It is unclear whether Kapp’s dog exited a fence he had just installed or whether the complaining witnesses’ dog entered through a hole in the fence to attack Kapp’s dog, Hempey told The Garden Island.
The complaining witness was a neighbor who had dogs known to cause trouble around the neighborhood, Hempey told the court Wednesday.
“Dog who killed Lisa Arin’s cat”
Hempey told the court the dog was so well-known, many people knew it as one of the dogs “who had killed Lisa Arin’s cats.”
After the attack, the small dog was still breathing, but Kapp and his young daughter watched their dog die on their property, Hempey told the court.
Kapp then went over to the neighbor’s home and yelled for the complaining witness to come out, Hempey said. He then fired a shot, either into the ground or into the sky – that was the one disputed fact, Hempey said.
“He did it,” Hempey told the court. “And ever since, he has regretted it. He discharged a weapon and you can’t do that.”
Hempey said after he fired the gun, he waited for the police to arrive to be arrested.
Kapp told the court that he was sorry for what he did.
“I realize that I messed up in the heat of the moment,” Kapp said.
Kapp was charged with first-degree reckless endangering, first-degree terroristic threatening and first-degree criminal trespass. He pleaded no contest to a deadly weapons charge in May.
The state did not ask for any jail time at sentencing.
Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe granted Kapp’s deferral for a period of one year. Kapp, who has no prior convictions, will also have to pay less than $400 in court fees and join an anger management program at his own expense.
The weapon used in the incident was forfeited and will be destroyed, the court ruled.
Arin, who lives in Anahola, told The Garden Island Wednesday that in 2009 she filed a dangerous dog complaint against her neighbors who owned the dogs who killed her cat. It was the same dog owners in the case against Kapp, she said.
The neighbors, who ended up getting a third dog, have since moved away, Arin said.
One day in 2009, she saw two dogs chasing a cat, she said. At the time, she said didn’t realize it was her 1-and-half-year-old cat named Monkey being chased by the two dogs.
“They killed her on another neighbor’s property,” Arin said. “She didn’t die immediately. She had surgery and she died two days later. I asked for him to keep the dogs on his property. They were chasing my neighbors’ cat on the neighbors’ own property the next day.”
Dangerous Dog Complaints on Kauai
She said she called the Kauai Humane Society who handled the investigation.
KHS Executive Director Penny Cistaro, did not comment on Kapp’s or Arin’s case but said she sees about half a dozen dangerous dog violations a year.
“It could be anybody’s dog,” Cistaro said. “They are typically not hunting dogs.”
Once a dangerous dog complaint is reported and there is either a person or animal that has been attacked by a dog, KHS responds by starting an investigation into the case, Cistaro said.
KHS can impound the animal or hold the dog during the investigation, she said.
Based on the facts, KHS will send the information over the prosecutor’s office, issue citation and a court date will follow, she said.
In some cases, a dog can be returned to the owner if they follow specific requirements, such as muzzling the dog during walks, or kenneling the dog if it’s kept outside. Otherwise, the dog will be held, she said.
A dog, which is considered property, can be euthanized if an owner surrenders their rights to the animal prior to the completion of the court case, Cistaro said.
The judge can also rule that the dog be euthanized as a result of the court proceedings, she said.
Dogs can be aggressive for a myriad of reasons, she said.
“Some dogs are just aggressive,” she said. “Or they don’t like other dogs. Something can trigger inside them. Or they are being protective of their property.”
Prior to Kapp’s sentencing, Watanabe questioned a restitution amount of $765, which the complaining witness said had been for medical expenses.
However, the dates of the medical treatment were nine months after the date of the offense. Watanabe denied the request for restitution.
Hempey said he thinks the sentence was fair.
“I’m happy with the sentence,” Hempey said. “(Kapp) is relieved it’s over.”
The complaining witnesses’ could not be reached for comment.