As reported on www.news.com.au
BAD boy surf gang leader Koby Abberton could avoid US jail time for assaulting a policeman and be punished instead by picking up rubbish in a Hawaiian park.
Abberton, founder of Sydney’s Maroubra beach gang the Bra Boys, was due to face trial last month over the alleged assault.
Lawyers were given the right to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors.
The push to settle came after Abberton declared his innocence and claimed he was the victim of mistaken identity.
Prosecutors have obtained copies of interviews the 30-year-old made at the red carpet premiere of his documentary The Bra Boys in Hollywood in April.
“I didn’t hit anybody,” Abberton said. “He (the victim) knew it wasn’t me and he told police ‘that’s not him’.”
The Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Department dismissed the claim Abberton had been incorrectly identified as the man who assaulted off-duty harbour police officer Richard Puu, who stepped in to break up a fight.
The department’s Jim Fulton said yesterday a plea deal had not yet been reached.
“There are still discussions but there’s no final plea agreement in place yet.”
Abberton has been charged with one count of third-degree assault after an incident outside Honolulu’s Epic nightclub on March 8.
Mr Fulton said Abberton, who faced a maximum penalty of a year in jail, would likely avoid a jail sentence if found guilty.
If a plea deal was reached Abberton could be fined up to $3000 and perform several days of community service.
“That could involve talking to at-risk students or picking up trash in parks,” Mr Fulton said.
Judge Ray Graulty has scheduled a status conference for next Thursday in Kane’ohe District Courthouse outside Honolulu to hear if a deal has been reached.