‘I won’t forget this’: Shocking attack at a Maui church fundraiser leaves woman shaken

The day after the assault, Lolinita had a bruised jaw and scratches on her neck. But the emotional pain runs deeper.
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 6:38 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 12:38 PM HST
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KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Niuafe Lama is holding his mother a little tighter nowadays.

“Just seeing my mom have no ... nothing she could do to protect herself you know,” Niuafe said.

Niuafe is talking about an incident that happened in April during a church fundraiser at Kahului Community Center. His mother, 58-year-old Lolinita Ika, was dancing when she was first hit with an elbow from behind.

Shortly after, she is punched in the face.

The next day, Lolinita had a bruised jaw and scratches on her neck.

“Something happened to me now. I’m kind of forgetful, and then sometimes I feel dizzy, and my body is shaky,” Lolinita said.

The suspect is Kepiloni Sauaki, 33.

Police charged him with misdemeanor assault. That means he could get probation or up to a year in jail.

His attorney says he’s innocent.

“It’s my opinion that Ms. Ika started this by harassing my client and his wife and their family and saying very, very hurtful mean things that should not have been said,” said criminal defense attorney Annalisa Bernard.

Sauaki was charged but never arrested, which is typical in these cases. Lolinita is demanding justice.

“I want to do this because I want to stop him from doing it to anybody else,” she said.

Although the bruises have now faded, Lolinita said the emotional scars remain.

“I won’t forget this until I die.”

Sauaki is due back in court on July 25.

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