Good Samaritans chase down suspect, help injured woman - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Good Samaritans chase down suspect, help injured woman

Robin Schade Robin Schade
Billy Essex Billy Essex
Everard Yee Everard Yee
Suspect John Leonard Gomes Suspect John Leonard Gomes

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KAKAAKO (KHNL) - A man accused of hitting a woman and stealing her purse is in Honolulu police custody, thanks to three workers who heard her cries for help.

Investigators say the victim suffered facial injuries when the man attacked her. But the suspect didn't get too far.

Billy Essex, Everard Yee and Cory Hashizume are back to fixing cars at Island Fender in Kakaako.

"Working with these guys and thinking they're heroes, it's hysterical," Robin Schade, co-worker, said.

But on Wednesday, the auto body technicians became just that.

Investigators say a 34-year-old woman was in a parking structure on Ilaniwai Street, when a man hit her with an object that resembled a pipe or stick, and then took off with her purse.

"A young lady came down asking for help, saying that she was attacked," Yee said. "She had a large cut on her head and she was bleeding everywhere."

"We saw some guy running," Essex said. "So we immediately took chase, me on a bike and my other co-workers on foot."

"All of the sudden, we saw Billy on his bicycle riding like the wind," Schade said. "And so I said, 'Billy, where are you going?' and he was like something was chasing him."

"My shoes weren't tied on as tight as they should have been and it was kind of difficult to run in, so I took them off," Yee said. "The adrenaline took over and the next thing you know, I'm down the whole block barefoot."

The workers caught up to the suspect and flagged down a police officer.

"Did you think about your own safety at all?" this reporter asked.

"I should have, but I forgot to," Essex replied. "She was bleeding and it made us kind of mad, you know."

Police arrested John Leonard Gomes, 39, on suspicion of robbery.

"I'm glad it worked out the way it did," Essex said. "It's like, not only did we get the items back, but he should be in jail."

Schade says one of the heroes did seek sympathy for a tiny cut on his knee.

"I said, 'Oh, okay, I can see. Oh, horrible. Are you okay?'" she said. "He goes, 'Yeah, but, you know, blood.'"

Police say the victim was in fair condition.

Gomes has not yet been charged.

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