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Man convicted of assaulting another man who lost an eye at Ala Moana Park

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A Circuit Court jury deliberated for one day before finding Vavao Kurtz, 29, guilty of misdemeanor, third-degree assault yesterday in connection with a Feb. 3 incident at Ala Moana Beach Park. 

Florencio Bermudez, 53, lost his right eye in the assault.

Kurtz faces up to a year in jail when he is sentenced in September.

He was facing up to 10 years prison if the jury had found him guilty of first-degree assault for permanently damaging Bermudez’s eye. 

The jury found Kurtz not guilty of first-degree assault and guilty of the misdemeanor for the blow, which broke the bone surrounding the eye.

"What happened is terribly unfortunate, but understandable," said Edward Harada, Kurtz’s lawyer.

Kurtz said Bermudez made crude, degrading and explicit comparisons between Samoan women and Filipino women, and he punched Bermudez because he thought Bermudez was about to assault him.

 

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