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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mānoa man admits to beating cabbie

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Charlys Ty Tang

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An 18-year-old man charged with killing a taxi driver admitted to police that he and another male punched and kicked the driver until he was "bleeding profusely from the face and head," a court document says.

Michael Robles of Mānoa is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the beating death of Charlys Ty Tang May 1. Robles made his initial court appearance on the charge yesterday.

An unidentified 17-year-old male also was arrested in the case. Because he is a juvenile, no information on him has been released.

Tang, 41, was found unresponsive and lying in a pool of blood in the parking lot of the Times Supermarket in Waipahu about 1:55 a.m. May 1. He was taken to The Queen's Medical Center, where he died.

Police said Tang's trip log showed that he picked up two people near Seaside Avenue in Waikīkī at 1:16 a.m. May 1. A city bus driver told police that he saw two males get into a white taxi at that time and provided police with a description of the two, according to a police affidavit filed in Honolulu District Court.

The bus driver said he recognized the two because one of them approached the driver at a bus stop and said they needed to go to Waipahu. After the driver said his bus didn't go to Waipahu, the two got into the cab, the affidavit said.

When the cab reached the Times parking lot, the younger male argued with Tang and then struck him, knocking Tang to the ground, the affidavit said. Robles said he and his friend began kicking and punching Tang as he lay on the ground, the affidavit said.

Another witness told police he saw two males running from the scene of the beating. Robles admitted to police that he and his companion fled the scene without giving aid to the dying Tang, police said.

A police sketch based on the bus driver's description was released by CrimeStoppers on May 3. The next day, workers at Hale Kipa, which provides programs and shelters for at-risk children, adolescents and their families, called police to say the drawings resembled two of their clients, the affidavit said.

The Hale Kipa officials said the two had left their facility without permission between late May 3 and early May 4, the affidavit said. Robles, who was in police custody on another charge, was arrested late Friday night in connection with Tang's death.

The 17-year-old male also was arrested late Friday at the main police station on South Beretania Street.

Tang, who immigrated to Hawai'i from Cambodia, is survived by a wife and two children. Services for Tang are set for 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Mililani Downtown Mortuary.