Attack on 73-year-old in Manoa part of alarming rise in crime against the elderly

Alarming rise in crime against the elderly

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 73-year-old woman is recovering from her injuries after being attacked at her home in Manoa earlier this week.

The assault came in the same week a juvenile was charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal purse snatching of an 85-year-old woman in Kalihi last month.

The victim who was attacked Monday morning asked Hawaii News Now to conceal her identity because she is fearful of retaliation
The victim who was attacked Monday morning asked Hawaii News Now to conceal her identity because she is fearful of retaliation

Deputy Prosecutor Scott Spallina says the cases are part of an alarming rise in crime against the elderly.

“This recent case is just indicative of the types of crimes we’re seeing more and more often," said Spallina, supervisor-in-charge of the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office Elder Abuse Unit.

“We’re seeing crimes happening in the daylight, we’re seeing crimes happening to our seniors, we’re seeing crimes happening out in public.”

The victim who was attacked Monday morning asked Hawaii News Now to conceal her identity because she is fearful of retaliation.

She still wants her story told to raise awareness about the increase of crime against the elderly.

Aside from the injuries to her face, the suspect broke her wrist as well. She said her 76-year-old boyfriend tried to intervene, but he was shoved to the side.

In connection with the case, 35-year-old Max Kim was charged with burglary, two assaults and other crimes. Tyson Naehu, 30, was charged with a car break-in and using stolen credit cards.

Kristine Kaleohano, 48, was also charged with credit card theft.

Spallina says from 2008 to now, the Elder Abuse Justice Unit has seen a steady increase in cases. He said they are now dealing with triple the number of cases they did 11 years ago.

“We’re finding criminals being more and more bold and attacking seniors anywhere," he said.

Kim has 30 prior arrests, 21 for felonies and seven of those are convictions. He has multiple cases already pending before the court, including a robbery of another senior.

“The people who target seniors, they do this for a living. This is their 9-to-5 job," Spallina said.

For robbery, Kim’s bail was set at $250,000. However, a judge lowered it to $100,000 and Kim bailed out in June. At the same time, he posted an additional $75,000 bail in a separate burglary case.

Before the new changes, he was on HOPE probation.

Spallina says the crimes against the elderly bring automatic jail time.

“Instead of just getting probation or HOPE probation, no. If you harm a senior during a crime, you’re gonna get prison, no ifs ands or buts," he said.

"The judge can’t say, I’ll give you probation. No, the judge has to give you prison until the law.”

Hawaii News Now reached out to Kim’s attorney for comment but did not receive a response. Kim’s bail is currently set at $100,000.

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