WAILUKU - A woman testified that she slipped out of the shirt she was wearing to escape through the door of her car after her boyfriend punched, kicked and stomped on her while in the vehicle last month.
Kuhio Vinuya also put both hands around her throat, making it difficult for her to breathe at one point, during the ordeal in the late afternoon on June 29, said Christina Carscadden.
"I was afraid," she testified during a preliminary hearing for Vinuya on Monday in Wailuku District Court.
Wailuku District Judge Blaine Kobayashi ruled that there was probable cause to support charges of kidnapping, felony abuse by strangulation, second-degree assault and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle against Vinuya, 36. He is being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center in lieu of $35,000 bail.
Carscadden said she and Vinuya had been living in her car, a Kia Spectra, for almost two months. On June 29, she was driving around Upcountry with him in the car when they were pulled over by police. Afterward, she said Vinuya accused her of working with police and threatened her.
She had driven to the Kahului industrial area when he told her to pull over. She tried to get out of the car, but Vinuya "grabbed me by my hair," she said.
She stopped the car near Kahului School and turned off the ignition. "That's when he began to start hitting me, stomping me on my head, choking me and kicking me," Carscadden said.
She said he kept pulling her back in after she crawled over his lap to open the passenger door. He was holding onto her shirt when she slipped out of it and ran to the nearest house for help, she said.
After being taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center, Carscadden was diagnosed with a fractured nasal bone. She said she suffered the injury sometime in the prior three weeks when Vinuya punched her in the face, also leaving her with two black eyes.
Under cross-examination by Deputy Public Defender Greg Ball, Carscadden said no one saw her black eyes except Vinuya, who was with her the whole time from early June to June 29.
Asked by Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa if he would allow her to go to the bathroom alone, Carscadden said no.
"He was afraid I would run," she said.
The day before she ran from the car, she said Vinuya stopped her when she ran toward a cliff at McGregor Point in Maalaea. She said she had intended to run off the cliff after "nonstop" arguing with Vinuya, who accused her of looking at and being involved with other men.
Vinuya drove away in Carscadden's car after she ran from the vehicle. He was arrested the next day in Lahaina.
Vinuya is scheduled to be arraigned July 19 in 2nd Circuit Court.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.