WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A toddler remains in critical condition Thursday night and her father is in police custody — suspected of trying to kill her.
Police were called to a home on Halona Road in Waianae around midnight after an 18-month-old girl became unresponsive.
Officers found the child's father, Christian Mikaele, in the back of the home. Sources said he seemed to be hiding.
The 38-year-old was arrested for attempted murder.
Mikaele's sister, who first notified police, says she is ashamed of what happened and is asking the community to pray for her family. She told Hawaii News Now on Thursday that she tried to protect her niece, but her brother was abusive to her as well.
Law enforcement sources say the child is being treated for internal bleeding in her head, as well as bruising all over her body.
A neighbor says Mikaele is a very violent person.
"He's a mean guy. He's so mean. He likes to yell and swear and threaten," neighbor Jolane Josiah said. "He's threatened to put his hands on me and hit me and stuff like that."
Court documents show the child's mother was granted a year-long temporary restraining order against Mikaele, which also controlled access to their children. The order expired in August, but in the application for it the woman described his abuse of their kids.
"He shaved my daughter's head," she wrote. "I was against it and tried to stop him. A few weeks prior to that he beat up my seven-year-old, but I did not report it. He then punched me in my face and head. I had a black eye."
She also wrote that her family was "afraid of him in my household. He said he would kill my son because he hates my two boys that I have from someone else."
Mikaele was arrested for violating his TRO in 2016. It was set to go to trial in November 2017, but when the mother showed up to testify, the judge delayed it for one more day. The following day, the mother did not show up to court, and the judge dismissed the charge indefinitely.
Advocates for domestic violence victims say long court battles and intimidation often scare women away.
"We have got to figure out how to avoid the endless continuances. It discourages the victim herself from coming forward," said Nanci Kreidman, CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Center.
"I don't have enough information about the particular circumstances in this case, but it is not unusual or would not be surprising to me to learn that he might say to her, you show up tomorrow, you're gonna pay.
"So she comes the first day, then the second day she's scared to death."
Mikaele has not been charged.