Kamaaina Kids changes policy after scare at Waikele Elementary

Kamaaina Kids changes policy after scare at Waikele Elementary

WAIKELE,OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A recent arrest is prompting new rules for an after school program at Waikele Elementary School. A homeless man allegedly exposed himself to a pair of third-grade students participating in the A+ program run by Kamaaina Kids.

Waikele resident Brandon Spears followed Elijah Spriggs-Kahalewai, 21, onto the campus on Wednesday afternoon after the suspect allegedly fondled himself near the school.

"When he was playing with himself, he looked over toward the playground area and he started walking toward it," recalled Spears.

Spears said he ran to the restroom the man entered once he heard two 8-year-old girls screaming.

"He looked around and when he walked in, he closed the door behind him and when he came out, as I was yelling at him, he came out, looked around, then pulled his pants up as he looked at me, he didn't have any underwear on, pulled up his pants then ran as fast as he could," said Spears.

Spears helped to chase down Spriggs-Kahalewai. The charges against him include fourth-degree sex assault, lewdness and trespassing.

Before the incident, Kamaaina Kids allowed students to go to that bathroom in pairs. A staff member must now escort the children. Kamaaina Kids plans to reach out to other principals to make sure the most central restroom facilities are being used during the A+ program hours. The company also sent a letter home the next day, letting parents know about an attempted sex assault.

"I think it's important to let people know. Me, as a parent, I need to know that this is something big. It was an attempted sexual assault and it shows that we are not taking this lightly," said Jolena Tanuvasa, a Kamaaina Kids coordinator.

After the arrest, Waikele Elementary School's principal also wrote a letter to parents that was given out on Thursday morning. A Department of Education spokesperson said the notification included confirmed details. The message indicated that "a suspicious man walked into the girl's bathroom," but no other allegations were mentioned, which upset the parents of the two third-graders.

"That would be a police report that we would have to confirm and also it would be an alleged sexual harassment so all of those things are details that we can't confirm," said Donalyn Dela Cruz, DOE spokeswoman.

Spriggs-Kahalewai is due back in court on November 23. His bail is set at $6,000.

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