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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 3:32 a.m., Saturday, September 8, 2007

Big Isle road rage victim loses eye, suspect charged

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii County police charged a 25-year-old Honokaa man with assault and other offenses Friday for allegedly punching a motorist, causing him to lose an eye.

South Kohala patrol officers responded to an assault victim at North Hawaii Community Hospital at 4:56 p.m. Wednesday. A 23-year-old Honokaa man reported he had been involved in a road rage incident in South Kohala a half-hour earlier. Investigation revealed that the suspect and the victim were traveling in separate cars from Waikoloa Road onto Route 190 headed for Waimea when the victim gestured the suspect to pull over.

After pulling over, the suspect approached the victim, who was seated in his car. Police were told that after a brief exchange of words, the suspect punched the victim once in the left eye. The victim's sunglasses shattered, causing serious injury to his eye, which later had to be removed.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section determined that the fight stemmed from a previous road rage incident between the two men.

On Friday they charged 25-year-old Alfred Berdon III with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, criminal property damage and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle. His bail was set at $14,000. Berdon is being held at the Kona police cellblock.

Police Capt. Paul Kealoha is appealing to the public to exercise caution and common courtesy when driving. "Although minor incidents of road rage are not uncommon," he said, "this demonstrates that these incidents can escalate and lead to tragic results."