KEAAU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three masked men stormed into a Big Island home on Friday night and attacked a family in a Keaau home. Two of the suspects are now in custody, and a can of pork and beans helped lead to the home invasion arrests.
"All of a sudden I see these three guys climbing out of the truck and they all had ski masks on," recalled victim Claudine Prados.
Prados had been watching TV at her home on 30th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park. She said she protected her son from one suspect by grabbing a meat cleaver from the kitchen, but two other men attacked his father.
"They injured him pretty badly. They slammed his face into the ground and they were trying to choke him and doing whatever they could to try to get him to pass out I guess," said Prados.
Prados said she grabbed a can of pork and beans after the cleaver was knocked out of her hand. After a struggle, the men drove off.
"I still had the can of food in my hand and I was actually trying to bust their window but it ended up bouncing off and landing in the back of their truck. That's one of the main things that actually police was able to identify the truck when they actually pulled it over," Prados said.
Within 30 minutes, police found a truck matching the description she gave them on Kuauli Road in Kurtistown. Officers found the can in the back and arrested two men, Jack Vaughn of Kailua-Kona and Dustin Jose of Kealakekua. Jose was indicted in May for allegedly sexually assaulting two minors, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Officers arrested both men for assault, burglary and robbery.
"It was like a total waste of time for them, honestly, because all they left with was a purse with no money and a kid's backpack with clothes," said Prados.
Prados and her family are spreading the word about the violent crime.
"She (my aunt) put up flyers all around the neighborhood to let everybody know because my home was not the first house to be hit that day. There's actually another home on the same street that got hit earlier in the day but luckily nobody was home," said Prados.
According to Prados, the men broke some jalousies at her home and kicked in a neighbor's door. Prados suffered scratches and bruises. Her son also had minor injuries.
The two suspects in custody have been charged. Vaughn's bail is set at $12,000. Jose's bail is $60,000. The third man is still on the loose.