HILO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big Island police have charged a Hilo man after he allegedly used a cell phone camera to record a woman and a girl in two public bathrooms. Some Good Samaritans chased down Faavae Tuinei, 35, but now police are investigating an alleged assault on him before his arrest.
Naea Lee Maina'aupo-Lindsey helped to capture the suspect. He is a competitive bodybuilder and a retired mixed martial artist. He was with his family at Puainako Center on Saturday night when he saw a man run by.
"A few seconds after, I saw this guy twice his size running after him yelling, 'Stop that guy!'" recalled Maina'aupo-Lindsey.
Investigators said Tuinei used a cell phone to film a 13-year-old girl in the women's restroom. According to police, the girl's relative started chasing the suspect. Maina'aupo-Lindsey joined in when he heard what happened. He said another bystander tackled Tuinei and he helped subdue the suspect.
"We held him until the girl's dad or the uncle came and then by the time the girl's dad came, the guy was pretty much incapacitated already," said Maina'aupo-Lindsey.
"We encourage people to call police, but we're going to discourage anyone from actually making any physical contact or getting into a physical confrontation," said Lt. Gregory Esteban of the Hawaii County Police Department.
Just 15 minutes earlier, Tuinei allegedly recorded a 24-year-old woman in a bathroom stall at Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium, but ran away before police arrived.
"Just be very careful, you go public places, even myself, when my girl was going to the restroom, I always stand outside and I always keep an eye on them cause it's scary nowadays. It's crazy the things that people do," said Maina'aupo-Lindsey.
Maina'aupo-Lindsey said he didn't hesitate to take action, especially thinking about his own granddaughter and six daughters.
"Everybody asked me if we caught him, and I said, 'Yeah, we caught him.' I had blood all over my hands, but in my eyes, all I kept thinking about was what if this was my little girl? I would have done the same thing," said Maina'aupo-Lindsey.
Tuinei was arrested and held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation. On Monday night, they charged him with two counts of first-degree violation of privacy. Tuinei is due back in court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing. As for his injuries, police are investigating and the assault case will be reviewed by the prosecutor's office.