Allenby saga takes more twists

HONOLULU – A week ago Robert Allenby told Golf Channel a harrowing tale of violent crime, a story he said he pieced together through second-hand accounts and his own investigation of what was originally described as a kidnapping, robbery and assault.

After interviewing multiple witnesses and retracing the steps the Australian took late on Jan. 16 following dinner with friends at the trendy Amuse Wine Bar in downtown Honolulu, has unveiled a much more bizarre tale.

This much is certain, Allenby – who had missed the cut at the Sony Open earlier in the day – was robbed of most but not all of his credit cards, some $800 in cash and his phone.

Honolulu police continue to chase a trail of purchases that began just minutes after the Australian exited the wine bar (interior pictured at right) when an unknown man bought two bottles of tequila with one of the golfer’s credit cards at a nearby liquor store. The amount of fraudulent purchases has since skyrocketed to more than $20,000, Allenby said.

It’s just as clear that Allenby was not kidnapped, as he originally was told by a homeless woman. He wasn’t thrown from the trunk of a car six miles from the wine bar and, at least as far as the Honolulu police are currently concerned, he wasn’t assaulted.

After having dinner with his caddie, Mick Middlemo, and a friend from Australia, Anthony Puntoriero, Allenby was sitting alone at his table when he was approached by two men and a woman. Middlemo had already left Amuse and Puntoriero was having a conversation with another group at the bar.

Allenby knows this because he and Middlemo went back to the bar the next day to review video from surveillance cameras. He knows he paid his check with an American Express card that he slipped into his pocket and not his money clip, exited the bar with the three unknown individuals and, according to the video footage, walked out of the building at 11:06 p.m.

Two local homeless men, Toa Kaili and Chris Khamis, said they found Allenby some 20 minutes later passed out on the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Piikoi Street adjacent to a row of shrubs (pictured at bottom right), 100 yards from the exit to the wine bar.

Kaili and Khamis said the golfer didn’t appear injured at that time but he was disoriented, and after a brief conversation he became belligerent, accusing the two men of having robbed him, so they left him on the corner.

“We are talking to him and asked if he had all his belongings and he said, ‘No.’ About five minutes later he asked, ‘Hey, where is the third guy?’ I asked him what third guy and he said, ‘You know, there was three of you. You gave him the keys and he was going to get his truck and come around and get me,’” said Kaili, explaining that he thought Allenby was mistaking him for one of the men who approached him in the bar.

 Allenby is next seen about a mile away from the wine bar at
 Club Femme Nu (pictured at left), an adult entertainment
 club wedged between a tattoo parlor and a Korean
 restaurant. Multiple sources who were working at the club on
 Jan. 16 confirmed to that Allenby was
 there around midnight with “a group of friends” and ran up a
 $3,400 bar tab. The sources spoke on condition they not be
 identified. A message to Allenby about this development was
 not immediately returned. Golf Channel reported Sunday
 that the golfer is scheduled to hold a news conference on
 Tuesday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

 Just after 1 a.m., two hours after originally finding Allenby,
 Kaili and Khamis returned to find him passed out about
 again 50 feet from where they originally found him.

“When I returned the second time that’s when Mr. Allenby’s face was all busted up. My friend (Khamis) said he was sitting down and nodding off and he hit his head,” Kaili told “He was beyond drunk. Totally blitz. It had to be a little bit more than just drunk.”

Which goes to a central theme in Allenby’s bizarre ordeal. According to the video footage from Amuse, Allenby paid his bill after talking with the three unknown individuals and went to the restroom. When he exited the restroom, Allenby appeared impaired, Middlemo said after watching the video.

“You can’t go from being perfect to being in the position I was in,” said Allenby, who estimated he had three glasses of wine during a dinner that lasted more than two hours. “If I was drunk why didn’t I ever wake up? It doesn’t make sense.”

Middlemo, who said Allenby was fine when he left the player at Amuse, said it wasn’t until after coming in contact with the three unknown individuals that his boss began to show signs of intoxication.

“I have no doubt someone slipped something into his drink,” Middlemo said.

Allenby said he remembers waking up at 1:27 a.m. and being helped into a taxi by a homeless woman named Charade Keane and an unidentified man, who paid the 43-year-old’s cab fare back to the Kahala Hotel, which is exactly six miles from the wine bar. At the hotel, Allenby contacted the Honolulu Police Department and filed a report, claiming he was kidnapped, beaten, robbed and thrown from a trunk six miles from the wine bar.

That’s the tale he said he had been told by Keane and where the story largely begins to unravel.

“I asked (Keane) what happened and she said I’d been dumped out of the car, that I had injuries and that ‘two homeless men (Kaili and Khamis) are going to kill you if you don’t get out of here,’” said Allenby, who withdrew from this week’s Humana Challenge but is listed in the field for next week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Keane said she didn’t see Allenby being thrown from a car and never told him he was, but she did warn the golfer that he needed to leave the area because he was in danger.

Kaili and Khamis were both questioned by police regarding the matter and no charges were filed, although Kaili was arrested at the time for a previous unrelated warrant.

On Tuesday, Honolulu police released a statement that the investigation was continuing for second-degree robbery and fraudulent use of a credit card, but not a possible kidnapping or assault; and sources close to the case say the injuries Allenby sustained are not congruent with an assault.

On Friday, Allenby told there remained a 2 1/2-hour gap in his memory from that night and that much of what he told police and Golf Channel had come from Keane. But the four-time Tour winner also said he had no doubt he was assaulted.

“I remember someone hitting me twice, I just don’t know who that person is, but I remember it. I keep having nightmares about it,” Allenby said. “Everything else came from someone else.”

In Hawaii, where tourism is a central part of the economy, the investigation has become a cause célèbre driven by Allenby’s high profile and the violent nature of the original reports.

“It was a complete surprise,” said Sony Open tournament director Ray Stosik, who added that in 17 years running the Tour stop he’s never had a player involved in a violent crime. “I wish the best for (Allenby), but after the original story a lot of people were hoping it wasn’t true but we don’t know.”

In Friday’s edition of the Honolulu Star Advertiser the editors summed up the concern the story has generated, “Police are investigating, and we hope their work will be thorough but also swift. If Allenby’s account doesn’t stand up to official scrutiny, the world should hear that, too.”

Despite rumors of an impending arrest in the case Honolulu police remained quiet a week after the incident. Like Allenby, law enforcement officials were still trying to piece together those harrowing moments on Jan. 16.

Allenby was robbed, that much is certain. He wasn’t kidnapped and, at least as far as the police are currently concerned, he wasn’t assaulted. After that, the fine line between fact and fiction becomes as dark and cloudy as a lonely street corner.

Source : The Golf Channel

posted at 26 Jan 2015 08:03:08



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