Micah Manzano, 22, has done karate for most of his life. His skills came in handy just before 11:00 p.m. last Monday in Kalihi,
"We're facing the door and we see this guy run in, running into Walgreens. So under my breath, I'm like, 'Oh you no gotta run, it's 24/7,'" said Manzano.
Little did Manzano know, he and his girlfriend were about to witness that man breaking into a cash register at the N. School St. store.
"We heard a crash. So we turned around and we thought it was a worker who dropped something at first. Then we heard it again. So we looked and seen the worker behind the other register saying, 'Eh, what are you doing back there?! You cannot be back there!'"
Manzano said all he was thinking about was protecting his girlfriend, who is pregnant with their daughter, and others in the town he was born and raised in.
"I got scared and Micah was like, 'No, this guy is not a worker, he's robbing the store.' So he ran and tried to stop him," said Manzano’s girlfriend, Kawailehua Kualaau.
"Kinda looked if he had weapons real quick. Noticed his hands were grabbing cash. So kinda just scooped under his neck and pull him over the register and held him," Manzano said.
Manzano held him in a "rear-naked choke hold" until officers arrived on scene less than five minutes later. Kualaau recorded it on her cell phone.
"I was like freaked out the whole time. I was scared. I was like, ‘oh, my, gosh’ I don't know if this guy is armed with weapons or anything and I was just freaking out," she said.
"He was like, ‘Brah, what are you, a cop?’ I was like, ‘No.’ He was like, and “Well what does this have to do with you then? Why you had to jump in?’ I was like, ‘Cuz, I'm from Kalihi. I love this place,’" said Manzano.
Manzano said he and his girlfriend left once police arrested the belligerent man.
"I had to pay full price, still for my shampoo and ice cream,” he said jokingly.
Nevertheless, Manzano said he's glad he could help those in the community and the officers.
"They offered to buy me a soda. So that was nice. Thank you HPD."
Turns out, he said police told him the man was suspected in another theft in Kalihi that same night.
"It's was just instinct. I just wanted to get that guy down and help those guys out at Walgreens," he said.
Manzano doesn't recommend others stepping in and doing what he did, but he said he doesn't regret his actions.