Assault at Kona hotel leaves 1 in critical condition; 4 arrested

KAILUA-KONA — Big Island police arrested four suspects in connection with an early morning assault in Kona that left a 63-year-old victim in critical condition.

Officers responded a little after 12:30 a.m. Monday to a report of an assault at a hotel on Palani Road in Kailua-Kona, according to a press release from the Hawaii Police Department. It was subsequently confirmed that the scene of the crime was the Kona Seaside Hotel.

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Upon arrival, officers saw a 63-year-old man on the ground in the parking lot. Through their preliminary investigation, police discerned the incident occurred after the victim confronted the suspects about the loud music they were playing. The suspects were reportedly sitting in an SUV in the hotel parking lot at the onset of the confrontation.

Officers determined a physical altercation transpired between three of the suspects and the victim. Emergency services transported the victim to Kona Community Hospital, where he remained in critical condition as of Monday afternoon, according to the release.

A staff member at the hotel said she was not allowed to provide information as to whether the victim was a guest staying at the hotel.

Police arrested all four occupants of the vehicle and took them to the Kona Police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued to investigate.

HPD identified the suspects arrested for assault as 30-year-old Wesley Samoa of Kona, 30-year-old Lama Lauvao of Honolulu and 41-year-old Natisha Tautalatasi, also of Honolulu. Police arrested 33-year-old Mahealani Kanehailua of Kona on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the release stated.

Major Robert Wagner said none of the four suspects had been charged as of Monday evening at about 5 p.m. He added police have 48 hours to charge any suspects before releasing them.

Police ask anyone who might have witnessed the incident to call the police nonemergency number at 935-3311 or contact Detective David Matsushima at 326-4646, ext. 224, or david.matsushima@hawaiicounty.gov.

All four suspects have had run-ins with law enforcement in the past, including moving and non-moving traffic violations.

Samoa’s court records date back to 2006, with all incidents occurring on Hawaii Island. His most recent conviction was for third-degree assault in July 2017.

Samoa also has been convicted of various other offenses, including criminal contempt of court and drunken driving. In 2013, he was charged with excessive noise in a public area and a default judgment was entered

Court records of Kanehailua also date to 2006, with all incidents occurring on Hawaii Island. She has been convicted of various offenses, including contempt of court.

In 2009, Kanehailua pleaded guilty to second-degree theft. In 2007, she pleaded guilty to first-degree theft.

Lauvao’s court record extends to 2006, with all offenses taking place on Oahu. He has been convicted of various offenses including drunken driving. In 2009, Lauvao was charged with accomplice to robbery in an Oahu case. He pleaded guilty in 2014.

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Tautalatasi has a criminal record stretching back to 1997, with all offenses taking place on Oahu. She has been convicted of various offenses including drunken driving, and in 2007 she pleaded guilty to second-degree promoting a dangerous drug in an Oahu case.

Email Max Dible at mdible@westhawaiitoday.com.

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