Bail up to $150K for added charges in attack on driver

WAILUKU – Bail was increased to $150,000 for a 20-year-old Waiehu man who is facing additional charges in connection with an attack on a driver who was hit with a rock and had his rear window shot out near Piihana Farms in Wailuku over the weekend.

Erath Kaihewalu is charged with first-degree robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, first-degree criminal property damage, keeping a loaded firearm in an improper place and first-degree terroristic threatening.

During Kaihewalu’s initial appearance Friday afternoon in Wailuku District Court, Deputy Prosecutor John Tam recommended the increased bail, citing the danger of what occurred at about 9 a.m. May 4.

That day, a 52-year-old Kahului man drove a woman friend home to Piihana housing, parking along the fence at North Market Street and Piihana Road, police said. Two men got out of a low-rider pickup truck, with one telling the Kahului man, “What you doing in my town,” according to an affidavit filed in court to support the charges.

The Kahului man drove down Piihana Road to the Piihana Farms area to get away and was chased by the men

in the truck, which blocked in the victim’s car, police said. The woman then got out of the victim’s car and went into the truck before the two men got out of the truck, police said.

Kaihewalu was identified as the man who approached the driver’s side window while the other man went to the back passenger window, according to the court document. Kaihewalu told the driver to get out and to leave the keys, then looked toward the other man who had a shotgun and said, “Go head, cuz,” the affidavit says.

The victim reported hearing a loud bang from a single shot through the rear passenger window, with birdshot pellets hitting the rear interior passenger door about 1 foot from the driver’s seat, according to the document.

After that, Kaihewalu smashed the driver’s window with a rock, hitting the victim in the forehead and again telling him to get out of the car and to leave the keys, the affidavit says. The victim drove away and went home before a relative took him to the hospital to be treated for a 6-inch laceration on his forehead, police said.

Kaihewalu was arrested Wednesday in the continuing investigation.

A preliminary hearing for Kaihewalu is set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Wailuku District Court.