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Probationer charged with strongarm robbery

A 21-year-old Hilo man is charged with second-degree robbery and third-degree assault for allegedly striking an adult special-needs athlete and demanding his money and cellphone.

On Monday, Hilo District Judge Harry Freitas granted a motion for a mental examination for Lawrence Kaaumoana-Ferreira and ordered him to return for a status hearing at 1:30 p.m. March 19.

According to court documents filed by police, the alleged victim, a 35-year-old man, told officers he rode his bicycle to Panaewa Park shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday to play baseball.

The man reportedly told police another man followed him on a bicycle to the baseball dugout and confronted him, saying, “What the f—- you looking at me for; why you looking at me funny?” The alleged victim said the man then demanded he give him the money in his wallet and his cellphone.

According to police, the alleged victim said he told the man, “No, I ain’t giving you my wallet and cellphone.”

The man then allegedly hit the baseball player twice in the face, then left the scene on bicycle without any of the alleged victim’s possessions.

Police say the alleged victim chose Kaaumoana-Ferreira from a photographic lineup and they have a witness who said she saw the alleged assailant strike the special-needs athlete.

Officers arrested Kaaumoana-Ferreira a short time later

Second-degree robbery is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment upon conviction, while third-degree assault is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail.

Kaaumoana-Ferreira was convicted May 7, 2018, of first-degree assault, a Class B felony, and sentenced to five years probation and 18 months in jail. The sentence stemmed from an Oct. 25, 2016, attack on a 40-year-old homeless man, whose left arm was broken after he was struck by an unidentified metal object. The man’s backpack, which reportedly had $265 worth of possessions, was stolen by an accomplice.

In return for his guilty plea, a charge of first-degree robbery — a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison — was dropped.

The accomplice, Wayne Wesley Geil, then 37, was sentenced in July 2017 to a four-year probation term and a year in jail, with credit for time served and the remainder stayed.

In a deal with prosecutors, Geil pleaded guilty to accessory to second-degree robbery, plus third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and drug paraphernalia. In return, a charge of accessory to first-degree robbery was reduced and a petty misdemeanor theft charge in the drug case was dropped.

Prosecutors filed a motion to revoke Kaaumoana-Ferreira’s probation in the 2016 assault.

He remains in Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $26,000 bail.

Email John Burnett at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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