Lawyer claims road rage attack on elderly driver was self-defense
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A lawyer for the young man accused in the road rage beating a 70-year-old Laie man said his client was acting in self-defense.
But the victim’s daughter said she’s worried the man is getting special treatment because he’s from a prominent family of watermen.
Daniel Aikau, 28, was arrested last week but was released pending further investigation. Surveillance camera video appears to show him attacking Laie resident Alofaaga Togiai.
Aikau’s attorney, Eric Seitz, said the fight occurred after his client accidentally cut off Togiai on the road.
“The incident began on the highway in Laie across from the Foodland market where (Aikau) admittedly made an illegal u-turn in front of this gentleman. The man got very upset and followed him tailgated him very close,” said Seitz.
“The physical part of it starts when the older man takes a swing at Aikau.”
But Togiai’s daughter said her father didn’t attack Aikau and was trying to protect himself.
After the initial contact, the security camera video shows Aikau pummeling the defenseless senior citizen at least eight times before Aikau flees in his car.
“All his ribs are all bruised and swollen ... and my sister had to carry him down the stairs the day it happened,” said Katarina Fonua.
Togiai’s family worries that Aikau is getting special treatment because a member of prominent surfing family. Clyde Aikau is his father and deceased big-wave surfer Eddie Aikau is his uncle.
Aikau’s lawyer said his client has received death threats since the video was first broadcast.
“It should not have happened and he’s very sorry. And we certainly want to meet with the family and do what’s necessary to make amends,” said Seitz.
But the victim’s family said that if prosecutors don’t file charges, they plan to file a civil lawsuit against Aikau.
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