Man pays $5,000 to victim, gets probation

WAILUKU — After paying $5,000 in restitution, a man was placed on one year’s probation for assaulting another man who suffered a broken jaw when he was punched in a Kihei bar three years ago.

Duane Torres Jr., 30, of Kihei provided a cashier’s check to cover the victim’s surgery costs when he was sentenced Wednesday.

The payment was part of a plea agreement allowing Torres to plead no contest to a reduced charge of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor crime.

The case had been delayed to reach a resolution that would allow Torres to continue coaching Pee Wee football, which he couldn’t do if he had a felony conviction, said Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae.

“His No. 1 priority is to give to someone else — something he’s done for 12 years,” Raidmae said.

He said the other man had been making passes at Torres’ girlfriend, who is now his wife, before Torres punched the man once on the left side of his face the night of June 13, 2015.

“The punch isn’t very hard,” Raidmae said. He said the victim turned and walked away but later learned his jaw was fractured.

Torres said his wife had asked the man to stop, but he kept texting her. The couple had encountered the victim a week before Torres said he punched the man after seeing him at the bar.

Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said Torres’ wife could have taken other steps if she had a problem with the man.

“You should have been adult enough,” Loo told Torres. “You should have been man enough. Instead of a problem solver, you were the problem maker.

“No matter what he did, he did not deserve to get cracked in the face. You were the problem that night.”

As part of his probation, Torres was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. He was ordered to complete anger management treatment and to write a letter apologizing to the victim.

In another sentencing Wednesday, a Wailuku man was ordered to pay $1,662 in restitution after he was found with a stolen moped last year.

Ariel Natividad, 38, was placed on one year’s probation after earlier pleading no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.

A visitor had rented the 2013 Genuine moped from Aloha Motor Sports and parked it at a vacation rental in Kihei when the moped was last seen Sept. 9, 2017, and reported stolen the next day, said Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas.

On Dec. 14, 2017, police saw Natividad with the moped at Waiehu Beach Road and Kahekili Highway, Temas said. He said the moped had a different license plate, but a check of the vehicle identification number showed it was the one that had been stolen.

Natividad told police he had bought the moped about a month earlier for $60, receiving no keys and no paperwork, Temas said.

He said Natividad gave the name of the seller, who told police he had bought the moped from someone who was known to steal mopeds in Kihei. The seller also said Natividad still owed the $60 for the moped, Temas said.

He said the man who rented the moped had to pay for it after it was stolen.

“There are deals and there are steals, and this is a steal,” Judge Loo said. “If someone offers you a $1,600 moped for 60 bucks, no paperwork, no keys — hello, you got to know deep down it’s too good to be true.”

Loo said she was concerned that Natividad had relapsed while on probation in a felony drug case.

Natividad was given credit for five days he previously spent in jail. He was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and to write a letter apologizing to the man who had rented the moped.