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Arraignments set for UH defensive tackles


    Defensive tackles Kennedy Tulimasealii, right, and Ka‘aumoana Gifford were arrested Tuesday morning.


    Kennedy Tuilimasealii, left, and Ka‘aumoana Gifford. The two UH football players will be arraigned next month in District Court on misdemeanor charges stemming from a confrontation Tuesday with police at a McCully apartment.

University of Hawaii defensive tackles Kennedy Tuilimasealii and Ka‘aumoana Gifford will be arraigned next month in District Court on misdemeanor charges stemming from a confrontation Tuesday with police at a McCully apartment.

Tuilimasealii, 21, was arrested Tuesday morning on misdemeanor charges of two counts of domestic abuse, one count each of harassment and resisting arrest, and two outstanding warrants. Tuilimasealii was treated at Straub Clinic and Hospital for exposure to pepper spray used during his arrest. His bond was set at $5,650.

Gifford, 20, was accused of obstruction for allegedly attempting to prevent Tuilimasealii’s arrest. His bond was $500.

Both men are free after posting bail.

All of the charges, except for harassment, are misdemeanor offenses, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and a $2,000 fine. Misdemeanor offenses are normally handled by a District Court judge. However, both men could demand a Circuit Court jury trial.

Tuilimasealii’s harassment charge is a petty misdemeanor — the least serious type of criminal offense in Hawaii — punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Both players are required to appear in Distinct Court on May 10 on the misdemeanor offenses.

In addition, Tuimasealii has an earlier Family Court hearing in District Court on April 26 on the two misdemeanor charges of abuse of a family member.

A 20-year-old woman told police that she was scratched during a fight with Tuilimasealii. She was treated for the scratches at the scene. Police were summoned to a disturbance in an apartment on McCully Street, just before 6 a.m.

Police used pepper spray on Tuilimasealii when he resisted attempts to arrest him.

Gifford was arrested after allegedly trying to interfere with Tuilimasealii’s arrest.

The UH student-athlete code of conduct recommends suspension for players arrested on misdemeanor accusations. Players are allowed to remain on scholarship and attend classes while on suspension.

University officials have not made a decision on the two atheles’ futures.

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  • Is “suspension” just an annotation in the school record if they keep scholarships and attend classes, or should the article say “suspended from athletic team and its activities”?

  • Kennedy blew it! He had everything going for him. He had a great future ahead of him to make $millions in the NFL but he blew it all away. With a trouble past, he’s going to be untouchable. Instead now he has a better chance of ending up in prison within 5 years from now. For some, it’s just in the DNA.

    • Poor comment. You don’t know the facts. Isn’t this where we are innocent until proven guilty. Who made you judge and jury? Leave out the DNA aspect – total generalization. Same with school policy – needs to be revised. Suspending without the facts.

      • All these posters that was high on KT when he choose to stay in Hawaii and raved over his contributions to the football team. How quickly they turned on him and mentioned stupid things like DNA and Wai`anae az why. KT made a grave mistake and there is no way you can minimize what had happened. I too an concerned for the football team, but the football season cannot be the primary focus here. The need to correct a dire wrong (abuse of a household/abuse in general)that exist too often in our community should be the primary focus. KT I for one cannot excuse abuse of any kind, but my wish for you is that you receive the help you need to make pono with all involved and most of all, yourself. Your season might be over, but definitely not your future. Make pono.

    • Agree with fairgame947 and others who advise withholding judgment until all facts are in. However, IF guilty, Kennedy still deserves our respect for years of dedication to academics and sports. His behavior has been exemplary on and off the field. One fall doesn’t determine a lifetime. He’s a bright young man and will learn from his mistakes. And like all young men and women, he deserves a second chance. He has an opportunity to grow from this experience, and I’m sure his teammates, coaches, family, friends, and fans will be rooting for him.

      • So what you are saying that the Code of Conduct should be, “If you get into trouble it’s okay we all make mistakes, you should be given a second chance?”

  • appears that tuli is a goner, he had two outstanding warrants, so this is not the first time he did something wrong. for some reason those prior warrants were never publicly disclosed, but pretty sure uh knew about them.

  • we need to all wait for the trial so all evidence is heard. Warrants were for parking tickets I believe.
    One thing is for sure, he needs to get away from that girl and that girl needs to get away from him.
    Couples argue/fight but when it becomes physical on either side the other needs to get away from each other.
    Zero tolerance for touching a woman, if she hits you first send her packing.

  • If found guilty both should be kicked off the team. Forfeiture of their scholarships as well. There are way more deserving students that could use a scholarship.

  • “2 OUTSTANDING WARRANTS” ??? For what … ??? This is a sign of total lack of discipline and the real sad part is that he/KT let his “brothers/teammates” down, the University down, his family down. As far as Gifford goes if he was just trying to back a teammate up I can understand that but NOT in a situation like this … In the future should they be reinstated to the team they both need to regain the trust and respect of their teammates.

  • If Tuli gets kicked off the team he will end up at a FCS School where if he the coach deems he has shown remorse and has learned from his mistakes he will be allowed to enroll and play.

    • Scholarships are based on ability to perform the sport, they are not given to just any student. UH will lose money and the coaches will probably lose there jobs in the years to come if these two players are let go, UH ‘s talent is lean and these two are our best Dlineman. Football players are nothing but money generating students that sacrifice their bodies and time for a couple years of glory and I lifetime of injuries.

  • Shaking my head so sad that so many individuals with their shovels in hand already burying these two young men and with stones in hand so who without error is ready to toss that first stone.

    • You shouldn’t read too deeply as to the outstanding warrants claim as reported by the media for more sensationalizing effect on the story. Hanabata you miss the point. Should the athletic department be like the North Korean government tracking your every movement for manini outstanding tickets.

      • Even if “outstanding warrants” means something on the level of not appearing in court – even traffic court – we should wonder about the character or maturity of a student athlete who would let any court appearance date slide. Should Tuilimasealii really be one of the better known faces of UH athletics?


  • so I guess there goes our chances for a winning football season this year, our best defensive lineman is gone and the other one will probably be kicked off the team as well, I wonder if this happened to an unknown player would any of this really matter and would we still be talking about it right now.

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