A Vicious Attack, Not Road Rage

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - March 07, 2007

Road rage is all the rage in Hawaii. You need look no further than the driver in your rear-view mirror and chances are you’ll see some psycho pounding his steering wheel, silently screaming while displaying the internationally recognized single finger salute.

Lucky we live Hawaii.

The recent story of the father, Gerald D. Paakaula, 44, and his 16-year-old son viciously beating a Caucasian couple, Andrew Dussell, 26, and his wife, Dawn, 23, in the parking lot of a Waikele shopping center demonstrates there are those who are violent powder kegs ready to explode.

But this is not so much a story of road rage as the media and some law enforcement officials wish to describe it. What happened was a full-on, uninhibited, blood-lusty, wanton act of pure animalistic violence delivered upon an undeserving, innocent couple who made the near-fatal mistake of crossing two cretins who were waiting for the chance to beat someone’s okole.

I know there is a siren call by some to classify this assault as a hate crime. I understand the passion to pursue the greatest punishment possible. But whether or not a hate crime is determined, there are two disturbing aspects of this case that supersede the race and to some extent the identity of the alleged perpetrators and victims.

As published reports indicate, the two men were involved in beating the wife into near sub-consciousness. That’s right. These two, good-sized guys really showed their manhood by beating to a pulp a 23-year-old student. News accounts describe her being lifted up into the air and being slammed onto the asphalt parking lot. Now that takes guts!

It wasn’t enough these two heroes beat her within an inch of her life. When her husband tried to come to her aid, the father whacked him across his windpipe, crippling his breathing and dropping him to the ground. Then, in a pure demonstration of bravery and bravado, the victim proceeded to get kicked by the perpetrators until he virtually lost consciousness.

These men had no moral boundaries or conscience telling them that brutalizing a woman was wrong. They displayed no compunction in pummeling a woman not only into submission, but allegedly hurling her into the surface of a parking lot.

The second disturbing aspect of this assault is the complete disregard for the 3-year-old baby in the back seat of the victims’ car. According to reports, this innocent little child witnessed the barbaric thrashing of his/her parents. I can empathize. My daughter Zoe is 3 years old. I cannot fathom the sheer terror this child was experiencing while seeing Mommy and Daddy beaten to a bloody mess.

The irony in the “haole” taunts is that Dawn Dussell is Portuguese.

It’s also worth noting that the only prior arrest for Gerald D. Paakaula was a misdemeanor for abusing a family member - yes, he severely beat that same son, and obviously taught him well.

I cringe when I hear this case described as one of road rage. It gives the term a bad name. What occurred in that Waikele parking lot was purely and simply evil. The assault was a reminder of the darkness in the hearts and souls of those who live among us. The only option is for our law enforcement officials to do their No. 1 job and separate these lawless rogues from the law-abiding public.

Anything short of that is to sanction such behavior.

Editor’s note: Friends of Andrew and Dawn Dussell have established a fund to help offset medical costs. Donations to the Friends of Andrew and Dawn Dussell Fund can be made at any First Hawaiian Bank branch.

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