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MALIBU : Top Surfer's Father Pleads Innocent to Assault Charge

March 23, 1995

The father of longboard surfer Joel Tudor pleaded innocent this week to a felony charge of assault for allegedly participating in the beating of a local surfer who refused to leave the water during a championship event held in Malibu.

Joseph David Tudor, 45, is accused of the Sept. 27 attack on Richard Ernsdorf, a Sun Valley man who was riding a knee-board at Malibu Surfrider Beach during the Oxbow Longboard World Championships.

In Monday's hearing, Malibu Municipal Judge Lawrence J. Mira set an April 13 pretrial hearing for Tudor, whose son Joel is the third-ranked longboarder, a title that he won at the Oxbow event.

Prosecutors contend that Tudor and world-class longboarder Lance Henry Hookano, 35, of Oahu, paddled out to Ernsdorf and beat him after Ernsdorf had refused to get out of the water and allow the contest to begin.

Hookano competed in the championships later, finishing in fourth place.

Ernsdorf suffered a concussion, a dislocated shoulder and a facial cut that required 15 stitches.

Tudor was charged with one felony count of assault.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Hookano on the same charge.

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