It’s a story that’s making worldwide headlines — Australian PGA player Robert Allenby claims he was kidnapped, robbed and beaten Friday night in Honolulu.
The 43-year-old pro golfer missed the cut for the Sony Open on Friday. That night, he said he went to Amuse Wine Bar on Kapiolani Boulevard with two friends. At around 11 p.m., Allenby said he separated from them. He tells media outlets he believes he was drugged, robbed, thrown into the trunk of a car, and dumped in a park more than six miles away.
The golfer was supposed to leave Hawaii Saturday morning, but is staying to cooperate with authorities.
In a Skype interview with Australian media outlet 7 News, the golfer’s face is heavily bruised.
“Obviously, I’m in a bit of discomfort,” Allenby said. “You can see my eye, but I’m not really sure what hit me. I don’t know if it was a fist or a bat. I’m just not really sure.”
KHON2 tracked down Allenby at the Kahala Hotel & Resort where he is staying.
Off-camera, he said that his stolen credit cards are being used, and that he recalls waking up in a park where two men tried to rob him.
In a statement, Allenby said he’s thankful he “didn’t suffer anything major beyond some bumps and bruises. … My plan currently is to fly back to the mainland, and at that point, evaluate my ability to play next week at the Humana Challenge (in La Quinta, California).”
Honolulu police are investigating Allenby’s case as a robbery in the second degree.
The investigation into Allenby’s reported assault puts Hawaii in a negative light on an international scale.
Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi said travelers will not visit a country where they don’t feel safe, or where crime is high. She said the international spotlight right now on Allenby’s story could impact tourism in the islands.
“It’s unfortunate this happened, but it happened, so we have to deal with it,” she said. “We have to keep showing how, I believe, our police department is keeping our city safe.”
Kobayashi said she wants to contact the police department and figure out a way to assure visitors that Honolulu is a safe travel destination.