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Man, 33, charged in alleged armed robbery at Kapolei store

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                                Matthew M. Kupa Sr.


    Matthew M. Kupa Sr.

A 33-year-old man convicted a decade ago in the brutal assault of a former world lightweight boxing champion is in trouble with the law again.

Matthew M. Kupa Sr. was charged Thursday with first-degree robbery for allegedly brandishing a firearm at an employee after taking merchandise from a home improvement store in Kapolei without paying for the items.

His bail is set at $100,000.

Kupa’s alleged accomplice, 35-year-old Puanani Hatori, was charged with accomplice to robbery in the first-degree. Her bail is set at $35,000.

Honolulu police said a man selected merchandise from a home improvement store in Kapolei and left without paying for the items on the night of Oct. 15.

He brandished a firearm when an employee approached him, police said. The man then fled in a vehicle with some of the merchandise taken from the store.

Police arrested Kupa and Hatori in Waianae Wednesday on suspicion of robbery.

First-degree robbery is a Class A felony that carries penalties of up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Court documents filed at Honolulu District Court today10/21 indicate Kupa could face an extended term of imprisonment because of two previous felony convictions.

In 2012, Kupa was sentenced to five years of probation and 18 months in jail with early release for substance abuse treatment after he was convicted of first-degree assault.

Honolulu police had said a witness saw Kupa repeatedly punch former world lightweight boxing champion Andy Ganigan in March 2010. Kupa had claimed he did not remember what happened because he had been drinking.

Ganigan, of Waipahu suffered severe brain damage and was flown to a rehabilitation hospital in Las Vegas, where some of his family members resided, and required around-the-clock-care until his death in 2012. He was 59.

Ganigan was the North American Boxing Federation lightweight champion in 1978. He was also named the World Athletic Association lightweight champion after knocking out Sean O’Grady in 1981. Ganigan was inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

In 2017, Kupa was re-sentenced to 10 years in prison with credit for time served after he failed to comply with the terms of his probation, court records show.

He was released on parole in March,2022 according to the Hawaii Department of Public Safety. On Sept. 26, the Hawaii Paroling Authority issued a warrant for his arrest relating to a separate traffic crime case.

In addition to the felony assault conviction, Kupa’s criminal history includes a felony theft conviction and three petty misdemeanor convictions for harassment and operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.

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