Trial rescheduled for monk seal attack

LIHUE — The trial for a man accused of beating a monk seal has been continued.

Shylo Akuna, 19, is charged with taking a monk seal prohibited, disorderly conduct and unreasonable intoxication after police say he confronted a pregnant Hawaiian monk seal, RK30, at Salt Pond Beach Park last spring.

A witness told officers he was throwing sand and screaming at the monk seal and the animal started “barking” and “trying to bite the guy.” The witness said Akuna was tried to punch the monk seal by swinging his fists, records showed.

A video of the encounter was posted on Facebook and went viral.

Akuna, who is from Eleele, was arrested on April 28.

He pleaded not guilty on May 25. He was supposed to go to trail this month. But when he appeared in court Thursday, his lawyer, Melinda Mendes, requested a continuance, saying she needed time for discovery.

Akuna is set to go to trial on Dec. 12.

If convicted, he faces one to five years in prison.

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