Prosecutors decide not to charge man accused of assaulting elderly woman

WAIALUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Prosecutors have decided not to charge a 37-year-old man accused of hitting an elderly woman in the face on Oahu's North Shore.

The 74-year-old Waialua woman said the alleged assault had to do with her pet cat.

Donna Jo Pelekai-Canon said a lost cat appeared at doorstep about a year ago and she took it in as her own, and on Tuesday, a stranger came to her home in Waialua claiming that the cat was hers.

Pelekai-Canon said when she asked for proof, the woman left and came back with a man who then got into an argument with her 60-year-old boyfriend.

"I didn't want fighting. I don't like fighting," Pelekai-Canon said. "And he just hauled off, backed up his arm and then punched me dead in my face."

Pelekai-Canon said the blow broke her nose and left her black and blue.

"I don't even remember going down on one knee. But they said I went down on one knee and blood was squirting out all over," said Pelekai-Canon.

The suspect's mother, who declined an interview, said her son acted out of self-defense. She claimed Pelekai-Canon and her boyfriend attacked her son first and Pelekai-Canon accidentally got hit in the middle of the altercation.

Although prosecutors can't share specifics about the case because of its ongoing status, the head of the Elder Abuse Unit explained why they decided to decline pressing charges.

"After reviewing all the evidence including, not only statements by certain people, but by independent eye witnesses, we made the determination at this point and time, we cannot charge the matter," said Scott Spallina.

"However, the statute of limitations is three years, and so that can always change," Spallina said.

Although the 37-year-old man was arrested, Hawaii News Now has decided not to name him since he was released and not charged.

Pelekai-Canon said she fears for her safety.

"I'm scared. I mean I'm old, but I want to live a little bit longer," Pelekai-Canon said. "I don't want to live here and be afraid of what's going to happen if he breaks into my house and tries to hurt me because he told me he was gonna kill me…I'm gonna pursue this," Pelekai-Canon said.

I don't want this to happen to nobody else."

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