Man is charged in attack, kidnapping

WAILUKU – A 48-year-old Pukalani man was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting, assaulting and kidnapping a woman after driving her to a Haiku field where he said she could smoke drugs with him, police said.

Philip Robbennolt-O’Connell, who is also known as “Crazy Phil,” was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault, attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault, kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and third-degree assault, according to court documents.

The crimes occurred at 10:42 p.m. June 15 after Robbennolt-O’Connell called the 20-year-old Kula woman and offered to give her oxycontin pills but said he needed a ride from Paia to Kahului, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

From the Paia Shell station, the woman drove Robbennolt-O’Connell to the Maui Mall parking lot, where he obtained the pills from two males, Rego said.

He said Robbennolt-O’Connell told the woman he knew a place where they could smoke the drugs and asked if he could drive her vehicle to Haiku. He drove to a field, where Robbennolt-O’Connell used a hatchet to hit the woman on the head, knocking her unconscious, Rego said.

According to an affidavit filed in court to support the charges, Robbennolt-O’Connell tied the woman’s hands behind her back and placed a plastic bag over her head. At one point, he “held a knife against her throat and told her to pray,” the affidavit said.

After sexually assaulting the woman, Robbennolt-O’Connell removed the bag from her head and untied her, according to the affidavit. He took the woman’s pants and panties, as well as the hatchet and knife he had removed from his backpack, and fled on foot, the affidavit said.

Rego said the woman returned to Kahului and called police. She was treated for abrasions to her head, neck and body, as well as a cut behind her head.

An all-points bulletin had been issued for Robbennolt-O’Connell, who was arrested Saturday in Lahaina.

Robbennolt-O’Connell’s bail had been set at $250,000.

But during the defendant’s initial appearance Monday afternoon in Wailuku District Court, Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage asked that bail be increased to $647,000.

“The state does consider the defendant an extreme flight risk,” Littlepage said. “This was an extremely violent act – sexual assault with two weapons.”

Robbennolt-O’Connell has an abuse conviction as well as 14 convictions for contempt of court, he said. “These indicate that he does not follow court orders,” Littlepage said.

Deputy Public Defender Aisha Hill asked the judge to reduce the bail amount, saying Robbennolt-O’Connell has lived here since he was 5 years old and surrendered to police when he learned he was being sought.

Robbennolt-O’Connell’s only other record is for traffic offenses, Hill said.

Judge Blaine Kobayashi increased bail to $647,000, saying the prosecution’s request was “reasonable and justified,” based on the serious allegations involving violence and kidnapping, as well as Robbennolt-O’Connell’s prior contempt-of-court convictions.

If he does post bail, Robbennolt-O’Connell was ordered to report for supervision and random drug testing and to stay away from the victim.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Wednesday afternoon in Wailuku District Court.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at