Lahaina pair face kidnapping, robbery charges for wild ride with Calif. visitors

Phillip Rosenthal

WAILUKU — A Lahaina man and woman have been indicted in connection with the robbery and kidnapping of a California couple at Nakalele Point last month.

Phillip Rosenthal, 37, who is also known as Phillip Braun, was arraigned Wednesday in 2nd Circuit Court.

He pleaded not guilty to two counts each of first-degree robbery, kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and theft of a credit card, as well as unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and three counts of second-degree theft.

Co-defendant Ashley Ramos, 19, pleaded not guilty to the same charges when she was arraigned last week.

The robbery occurred at about 6:50 p.m. March 15 when the tourist couple returned to their rental car after the man had proposed marriage to the woman near the ocean at Nakalele Point, police said. The couple reported being confronted by a man and woman with guns before their belongings, including a $7,500 diamond engagement ring, were stolen.

Ashley Ramos

The male robber forced the man into an older-model sport utility vehicle, while the female suspect drove the woman in the couple’s rental car, police said. Both vehicles headed south on Honoapiilani Highway before ending up at the Kehalani Longs Drug Store in Wailuku after 10 p.m.

Surveillance video showed Ramos in the store with the couple, who bought $1,300 in cash cards that they turned over to the robbers, police said. The couple were released with their rental car and drove back to the Kaanapali hotel where they were staying and reported what happened.

Ramos and Rosenthal were arrested after separately turning themselves in to police.

Bail is set at $500,000 for Rosenthal, who also was arrested on a warrant alleging he violated his parole in a 2001 case. He was sentenced to a 20-year prison term for robbery and kidnapping in that case.

Rosenthal was ordered to have no contact with Ramos and the two victims. He also was ordered not to go beyond Waihee in Central Maui and Napili in West Maui, keeping him out of the Nakalele Point area.

Ramos is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center, pending a bail hearing today.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at