HONOLULU — A U.S. grand jury indictment unsealed Friday charged two Hawaii men with one count of a hate crime after they allegedly attacked a white man who was attempting to move into their Maui neighborhood.
Court documents said Kaulana Alo Kaonohi and Levi Aki, Jr. punched, kicked and used a shovel to beat a man identified only as C.K., who was knocked unconscious. He suffered a concussion and two broken ribs, prosecutors said.
Surveillance video of the February 2014 attack showed the two defendants calling C.K. a “f-ing haole,” court documents said. Haole is the Hawaiian word for white person or foreigner. It’s not a slur, but it can be used in a derogatory manner especially when combined with certain profanity.
The defendants are accused of saying C.K. was in the “wrong place,” didn’t belong there and that “no white man is ever going to live in this house or neighborhood.”
Kaonohi’s attorney, Salina Kanai Althof, declined to comment. Aki’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The incident occurred as C.K. was moving his belongings into a house in Kahakuloa village that he and his family bought, court documents said. Kaonohi pleaded no contest to felony assault in state court in July for the episode. He was sentenced to probation.
A one-page indictment filed on Dec. 16 in Honolulu said Kaonohi and Aki “willfully caused bodily injury” to C.K. and attempted to injure him with a dangerous weapon “because of C.K.’s actual and perceived race and color.”
They face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.
The defendants were scheduled to make an initial appearance by telephone in U.S. District Court in Honolulu on Tuesday.