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Grand jury indicts 3 men in Kalihi attack

Rosemarie Bernardo
                                Jermick M. Ungeni and Chris Pham
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Jermick M. Ungeni and Chris Pham

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment against three men today, charging them in connection with the March 16 brutal attack of a 37-year-old man in Kalihi.

The grand jury indicted Jermick M. Ungeni, 23, with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree robbery after he allegedly attacked the victim with a machete while the victim walking back to his apartment.

Both Chris Pham, 19, and JS Titus, 18, were also indicted with second-degree robbery in the case.

The attack occurred near Island West Apartments and 7-Eleven on North King Street at about 11 p.m. on March 16.

Honolulu police in court documents said a man exited the convenience store and was walking back to his apartment when he passed a large group of males loitering in the area. One of the males then allegedly approached the victim from behind and “sucker-punched” him in the face.

The male continued to repeatedly punch the victim in his face and body when other males in the group joined in and physically assaulted the victim.

One of the assailants struck the victim with a machete, resulting in a large gash on the victim’s head and neck, police said.

Video surveillance footage recovered by police showed the attack and two males removing what appeared to be a cell phone from the victim’s pocket during the assault.

After the suspects left the scene, the victim rushed to the apartment building to seek help. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Police located Ungeni and Pham in Kalihi several days later and arrested them in connection with the attack. Police identified the assailant who allegedly attacked the victim with a machete as Ungeni.

The grand jury issued a $200,000 bench warrant for Ungeni and $50,000 bench warrant for Pham. Both men remain in custody at the Oahu Community Correctional Center.

A $50,000 bench warrant was also issued for Titus.

Last month, Titus was charged in a separate case for third-degree assault. He was released following his Feb. 13 appearance at Honolulu District Court and ordered to return March 6 for a hearing.

Court minutes show a $200 bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear at the hearing.

Honolulu police noted two 16-year-old boys were charged last week with second-degree robbery in connection with the March 16 attack. Both are being held at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility.

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