Detective: Suspect says he assaulted man, took his vehicle


The Maui News

WAILUKU — A robbery suspect admitted he assaulted a man and took his cellphone and car at a Kahului car wash last year, a police detective testified Thursday.

Police received several tips identifying Cy Ribucan as the suspect before he was arrested Saturday, said Detective Nelson Hamilton.

Ribucan, 22, of Makawao is charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and second-degree theft.

The robbery occurred in the early-morning hours of June 26, 2016.

Testifying Thursday at a preliminary hearing in Wailuku District Court, Wailuku patrol officer Lance Yorita said he responded to Wiki Wai Car Wash at 156 E. Wakea Ave. that morning and found a man lying on the ground in a fetal position with blood around his head and torso.

“He was unconscious,” Yorita said.

The man was transported by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Dr. Timothy Lager, who was working in the emergency room, said the man suffered a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain among other injuries, which were “potentially life threatening.”

Hamilton said surveillance video showed the suspect walking through the parking lot of the car wash and approaching the victim. The suspect talked to the victim, who retrieved his cellphone from his car when he was punched in the face and knocked to the ground, Hamilton said. “The individual jumped in his car and took off,” Hamilton said.

After police posted part of the surveillance video on the Maui Police Department Facebook page, Hamilton said police received the tips naming Ribucan as a suspect. Officer Craig Stephens also called Hamilton to say the suspect looked like Ribucan.

Hamilton said he prepared a photo lineup and emailed it to the victim, who now lives in Maine. The victim identified Ribucan as the assailant, Hamilton said.

When he talked to Ribucan on Monday after his arrest, he said he intended to knock out the victim, Hamilton said.

He said the surveillance video showed the victim falling backward after being punched once in the face.

Judge Adrianne Heely found there was sufficient evidence to support the charges against Ribucan.

His bail had been set at $120,000. In asking for a lower bail amount, Deputy Public Defender Ben Lowenthal said Ribucan has “very, very minimal contacts with the criminal justice system.”

Heely reduced Ribucan’s bail to $65,000.

He was ordered to stay away from the car wash and to have no contact with the victim.

Ribucan is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 21 in 2nd Circuit Court.

In a separate case, Ribucan is charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and second-degree resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle in a Jan. 3 incident.