Victim says he helped wife of stabber
By Nelson Daranciang
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 25, 2008
An 18-year-old man limped into court yesterday and testified that a Schofield Barracks soldier stabbed him six times early Sunday after he tried to help the soldier’s wife start the couple’s pickup truck outside a Wahiawa bar.
The soldier, Sgt. Tohama James Ramage, 30, is charged with attempted murder.
Following a preliminary hearing yesterday, Judge David Lo ordered Ramage to stand trial for second-degree murder in state Circuit Court. Ramage remains in custody unable to post $30,000 bail.
Hapakela Pancho said he was in the parking lot fronting the Top Hat Bar on Kamehameha Highway when a woman asked for help starting her truck. The woman told him she was having a fight with her “old man” in the bar and that she wanted to leave but he did not, Pancho said.
Pancho said he could not start the truck and that as the woman was stepping into a car with two other women, Ramage arrived and started arguing with her. When he went to shake Ramage’s hand and tell him everything was fine, Ramage told him to back off, took a knife out of his pocket and swung it at him, Pancho testified. He said the woman then gave Ramage a bigger knife from inside the truck.
“I tried to leave but he ended up rushing me,” he said.
Pancho said he raised his right arm to block the knife and was stabbed in the hand and forearm. He wore a bandage on his right hand in court yesterday.
Pancho said Ramage tackled him, stabbed him in his left hip and waist, then stabbed him on the left side of his head and neck. He said one stab wound came within a half-inch of his lung.
Pancho said the injuries to his waist and hip prevent him from putting weight on his left leg when he walks.
An ambulance took Pancho to the Queen’s Medical Center in critical condition. Hospital officials released him the next day.