No freedom for woman accused of attacking a dog | News, Sports, Jobs


WAILUKU — A judge denied a woman’s request to be released from jail, in part so she could help the defense’s investigation into allegations that she used a machete to attack a dog in Paia.

Tiare Kawaakoa, 40, of Kahului, pleaded not guilty to first-degree cruelty to animals and first-degree terroristic threats.

She was arrested for allegedly attacking the dog and threatening its owner on Aug. 13 while the pet was on a leash in the Paia Municipal parking lot on Hana Highway.

During a hearing Thursday in Second Circuit Court, Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson said the dog “She was aggressive and attacked her dog.”

“His actions tend to be in defense of his own dog,” Stevenson said.

He said that the police did not speak to all the witnesses who were there that day and that Kawaakoa’s help was “vital” to the defense in the investigation and search for witnesses.

“The fact that she is in custody is damaging that ability.” Stevenson said, asking to be released from jail under supervision.

In a motion, Stevenson noted that Kawaakoa was released on supervised release on Aug. 15 while the case was in Wailuku District Court and appeared to have been following court orders. Bail, which had been set at $50,000 when she was charged in late August, was later reduced to $10,000.

The prosecution opposed Kawaakoa’s request for release.

“Despite what the defendant alleged, all the evidence pointed to the dog being tied up,” Deputy District Attorney JW Hupp said. “She came and attacked the dog, and her dog was on the loose.”

In a memo opposing his release, Hupp said the judge who initially ordered Kawaakoa’s release had no information that “shows the level of rage and the extent of the brutality of the attack” and the risk to others as Kawaakoa “savagely attacked a dog with a machete.”

Police later obtained information from a doctor and medical records showing that “Although the dog survived, when the dog was admitted, two doctors worked four hours just to stabilize it,” the memo said.

He said his injuries included part of his tail being severed, requiring a partial amputation, several open wounds on his back that had to be stitched up, and at least four blows to the head, which caused his head to split open. The dog named Tommy Boy “He may lose vision in one eye, and he is still hospitalized and recovering,” from September 20.

Initially, the judge also had no information that “The dog was tied up during the attack, and that the defendant continued to beat the dog despite attempts by the owner and several witnesses to stop her,” according to the note.

“Several witnesses stated that a woman tried to stop her by placing herself between the accused and the dog,” the memo said. “The woman was removed from harm’s way because the defendant continued to beat the dog by surrounding this woman.”

Witnesses who were interviewed said that Kawaakoa’s dog was not attacked by Tommy Boy but by his dog. “joined in to attack Tommy Boy after the defendant began beating the defenseless dog,” according to the note.

In court, Hupp said that removing the defendant from custody to locate witnesses was “Disturbing, considering the circumstances that the defendant was brandishing a machete at bystanders in the road.”

Judge Peter Cahill denied Kawaakoa’s request to be released on supervised release.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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