Woman testifies boyfriend held her underwater during argument - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Woman testifies boyfriend held her underwater during argument

Rondilyn Pihana Rondilyn Pihana
Ipaapuka Carter Ipaapuka Carter

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -  A woman on Monday broke down in tears while testifying about being held underwater during an argument with her boyfriend at a beach in Waimanalo the day after Christmas.

Ipaapuka Carter is quite familiar with the inside of a courtroom. Prosecutors say he's been convicted of auto theft, abusing a previous girlfriend, and restraining order violations.

On Monday, his latest girlfriend took the witness stand against him.

Ipaapuka Carter, 33, stared eagerly at the entrance to the courtroom when his girlfriend was called to the stand. But after he allegedly held her underwater during an argument at Waimanalo Beach Park, Rondilyn Pihana, 21, didn't seem as excited to see him.

"He thought I was fooling around with someone," Pihana said.

"Did this argument turn physical?" the prosecutor asked.

"Yes," she replied. "He hit me."

Pihana says her boyfriend hit her on the head twice. She says she then led him into the ocean so they could pray and work it out, but he continued to attack her, punching her torso and kicking her legs.

"How did it feel when he was kicking you?" the prosecutor asked.

"It hurt," Pihana said through tears."

She says Carter, the father of her child, then pushed her head underwater five times.

"How long is he holding you under the water?" the prosecutor asked.

"Til I can not breathe, I come back up," Pihana replied.

She says she threw up twice from swallowing the ocean water and nearly passed out.

"When you were in the water, did you want to come out?" Pihana was asked.

"Yes," she said through tears.

"Were you able to get out of the water?" the prosecutor asked.

"No," she replied.

Eventually, a witness intervened and police arrived.

The suspect is charged with felony kidnapping. Prosecutors say they're looking at filing additional charges.

"Babe, I love you," Carter said after his alleged victim stepped off the witness stand.

The judge issued an order barring Carter from having any contact with Pihana while the case is pending. The judge also denied the defense's request to reduce bail, which is set at $100,000.

Carter is scheduled to enter his plea at Circuit Court January 19th.

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