Kauai police arrest 27-year-old for murder after park encounter leaves man dead

Kulueti Taulanga, 27, was taken into police custody Monday night.
Kulueti Taulanga, 27, was taken into police custody Monday night.(Kauai Police)
Published: Oct. 29, 2019 at 7:27 PM HST
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KAUAI, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai police have arrested a suspect tied to the death of a Lihue man over the weekend.

Police took in 27-year-old Kulueti Taulanga, of Puhi, on Monday night. He was being held in police custody ― suspected of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery.

Officials say Taulanga met with 56-year-old Leonard Guttman at Puhi Park just before 7:50 a.m. Saturday.

Details of their interaction weren’t immediately known.

But police say soon after Guttman was found in the park with severe and suspicious head injuries. Bystanders called 911 when Guttman was found.

Guttman was taken to Wilcox Hospital in critical condition and was later airlifted to the Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu where he died from his injuries Sunday evening.

Police opened a homicide investigation, which led to Taulanga’s arrest. His bail has been set at $600,000.

The investigation is ongoing. People with information on the case are being urged to call Captain Paul Applegate at 241-1696 or Police Dispatch at 241-1711.

Tipsters can remain anonymous by submitting a tip to CrimeStoppers Kauai at 246-8300.

This story may be updated.

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