The FBI’s Honolulu office is denying reports that it is involved in the investigation into the alleged kidnapping and beating of an Australian pro golfer in Hawaii over the weekend.
The Associated Press reported Sunday that Robert Allenby was “meeting with the FBI” about the attack, which he said left him bruised and battered on the side of the road.
However, a spokesman for the FBI's Honolulu office told BuzzFeed News that federal authorities are not involved in the case. Special agent Tom Simon said the FBI doesn't investigate kidnappings that don't involve crossing state lines.
Simon said he believes the confusion arose from the fact that a former FBI agent works with the PGA tour on security matters in the area and is likely helping with the case.
"Absent any new info this is not an FBI matter," he said.
Allenby told the Golf Channel that he had gone to the Amuse Wine Bar in Honolulu with a friend and his caddie on Friday night after he was cut from the Sony Open.
Allenby said he struck up a conversation about golf with people who appeared to be fans of his at the bar.
"They were talking golf," he told the Golf Channel. "They were big golf fans, big Robert Allenby fans. So, yeah, obviously I was just a target."
Allenby said he left the bar after being separated from his caddie and friends, and was attacked outside.
He said he was robbed and eventually thrown from the car about six miles from the bar. He said he was then helped by a homeless woman and a Navy veteran, who helped him piece together what had happened and get help.
"I've watched Taken, Taken 2 and this was pretty much a spitting image," he said, referring to the movie series about an international kidnapping.
However, the homeless woman on Monday contradicted some of Allenby's details about the night.
The woman, who has spoken to police, told 9NEWS that she saw Allenby in a confrontation with two men only about a block from the bar.
She said Allenby tried to pay the men $500 to get his belongings back from them, but they refused. She said the golfer was put then put into a taxi by a passerby.
KHON2 reported that sources confirmed that Allenby was at the Amuse Wine Bar on Friday night and several other days last week.
According to the sources, Allenby ordered two bottles of wine and was with a large group of people.
The Honolulu Police Department released a statement Tuesday that said detectives are looking for more information by interviewing witnesses at the bar and finding more security footage from nearby:
"Detectives are reviewing witness statements and gathering security video footage. They are also looking into recent charges made on Mr. Allenby's credit card. No arrest has been made," the statement said.
Police said they were investigating the case as a second-degree robbery and and fraudulent use of credit card. In Hawaii, second-degree robbery is punishable with up to 10 years in prison and fraudulent use of credit cards carries up to a five-year sentence.
The security footage could be made public to help identify people using Allenby's stolen credit card, the Honolulu Police Department Captain Rade Vanic told the Australian Associated Press on Tuesday.
ESPN reported on Sunday that Allenby told the Australian Associated Press that he is confident those who attacked him would be caught.
Allenby also referenced the "FBI" being involved in the case, though it was unclear if he meant federal investigators or the retired FBI consultant.
"With the FBI guys involved, they're the best, the guys on the tour are awesome, and they'll get to the bottom of it," he said, according to the Australian AP.
The AP reported Allenby has won four PGA Tour titles, with the last one being in 2001.
Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Stephanie McNeal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
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