Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Alcohol Made Me Do It

Joshua Kahikina (right) Attorney Habhab (left) stand before Judge Shea

Opening his defense with "Everyone reacts differently to alcohol," the public defender told Judge Shea about an experience in college (which must have been when LBJ was President) where he offered to buy his date a drink and she responded, "You wouldn't like me when I drink."

He transitioned to his client Joshua Kahikina, age 22, standing on his right, describing him as "Hawaiian and Native American," and that he "should not be consuming alcohol at all."

Mr. Kahikina was arrested by Amherst police in the early morning hours the first weekend of March for destruction of property (vandalism to car), assault on the driver who required transport to Cooley Dickinson Hospital for a gash in his head, and when police tried to bring Kahikina under control he punched an officer in the mouth with his left hand.

Attorney Habhab told the Judge his client was "working on holistic medicine on his own" and as long as he stayed away from alcohol he's fine.  The public defender proposed his client pay restitution to ($1,400) the victim, who was in the courtroom, in exchange for a continuation without a finding for one year on all four charges.

Assistant District Attorney Russo was adamant about a "guilty" finding on the first two assault counts, describing them as "very serious".  The Judge agreed.  The public defender whispered to his client and they quickly caved. 

Judge Shea found Joshua Kahikina "guilty" on the first two charges and continued the other two for one year without a finding.  He will pay $1,400 in restitution to the victim, $50 Witness Protection fee to the courts, and be on probation for one year with unscheduled alcohol testing.

And hopefully he will never again get physical with a cop, or anyone else.


Anonymous said...

I doubt this was the first time he destroyed property... people who do that are serial offenders

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, there did appear to be 3 previous charges on his record which his lawyer kind of glossed over as "not serious."

Anonymous said...

He deserved some jail time. Got off easy.

keithw said...


Other than utilizing non-lethal instruments, does APD engage in any kind of hand-to-hand/self defense training for unarmed assaults like these? I recall this is the not the first A&B on a police officer in recent weeks. Although I'm sure that's not uncommon--all the more reason for the training.

Larry Kelley said...

I din't think they have a formal ongoing program, but some of them train on their own time.

keithw said...

Seems like an important facet to a job where you're getting punched and/or kicked on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Just one more slap in the face of law enforcement in the valley.

Keithw. All law enforcement trains in self defense, and what is sometimes called "management of aggressive behavior". But there are many situations in which there isn't much you can do about an assault, such as a sucker punch/kick, trying to restrain someone under the influence of drugs, or sometimes you are just plain and simply fighting someone more skilled than you. It is part of the job of course, but police take it personally when they do not get the back up of the court. Richard Marsh

Dr. Ed said...

What I fail to understand is why more people don't make the distinction that I do -- there is maliciously attempting to harm another human being -- and not.

I don't care how loud, drunk & obnoxious someone is, that pales in comparison to someone who attacks someone else.

Resisting arrest and such needs to be viewed in a different dimension, as does OUI, put that all aside and evaluate it separately -- I argue it is a hell of a lot worse to go hit someone who is minding his/her/its own business than not to do so.

Why don't others hold this view?

keithw said...

Sure, but it's mostly compulsory training crammed in at the academy. It's likely not retained and certainly not at muscle memory level where it would need to be.

Anonymous said...

Training is conducted regularly, usually yearly. RM

Larry Kelley said...

Keith is a former karate student (and one time teacher) of mine, so for him "regular" means at least three days per week, 52 weeks a year.

keithw said...

Dr Ed.

That distinction falls under the "Morals" (right and wrong) category in the "Hierarchy of Understanding Behavior"

It is a glitch in the system of those not exposed to violence. It's a form of denial. It's the hesitation that those "maliciously attempting to harm another human being" count on to gain the upper hand.

So while our first question for this type of person might be "why do you use violence?" A typical response from them might be "Because it works."

Anonymous said...

Gotcha LK.
I'm referring to training conducted to reinforce standard and approved technique, and instruction on changes in the laws that may affect what force police are allowed, and no longer allowed to use. Of course, as you stated earlier, physical training should, and usually is, taken seriously and practiced regularly by officers on the street. But as you two know, as bad ass as one may be... you never know when you'll be fighting with someone better.

I think people may be surprised how restrained police really are in the amount and type of force they are allowed to use. It varies, but it is not unusual for what most refer to as a punch, is generally not taught. Of course, as Keith alluded to, some people simply do not grasp the fact that violence is used at all, and want their idyllic Amhersty view of how the police should handle perps transferred into reality. But the reality is that sometimes you have to fight... you may even have to fight to the death, and to some, especially in "progressive" communities, that is a foreign concept. Richard Marsh.

Dr. Ed said...

"It is a glitch in the system of those not exposed to violence. It's a form of denial. It's the hesitation that those "maliciously attempting to harm another human being" count on to gain the upper hand."

That's not my issue. Instead, why isn't there a society-wide distinction between someone who did a lot of really bad things but didn't intentionally try to hurt someone -- and someone who did. *I* make that distinction...