12-year-old arrested after machete attack on school grounds in Kalihi

A 14-year-old had to be hospitalized after law enforcement sources in Hawaii say he suffered gashes to his wrist in a machete attack. (Source: KHNL/KGMB)
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 4:11 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 13, 2022 at 5:14 PM HST
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KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 12-year old boy has been arrested for attacking another teenager with a machete at Kalakaua Middle school last month.

The 14-year old victim had to be hospitalized after law enforcement sources say he suffered gashes to his wrist.

Honolulu police say the attack happened about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday June 23.

Sources say the 12-year-old allegedly walked up to a 14-year-old and started swinging the weapon.

Sources said friends of both boys were there and witnessed the crime, but it’s unknown what led up to the attack.

Mark Patterson, administrator of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, said violence of this magnitude among youth in Hawaii is rare.

“Right now I can tell you of the population that’s currently at HYCF with Class A and B felonies is minimal,” Patterson said.

He added when a child is arrested, locking them up is a last resort.

“We are very quick now in the judicial system to look for the program that can resolve whatever issues that led to the event,” Patterson said. “It may be restorative justice. Bringing the two people together. Sometimes we recognize there was a mental health issue. So the child will go the mental health direction.”

But before anger has a chance to escalate, mom and educator Tracie Lopes believes it’s crucial children have a somebody they can talk to.

“It’s the whole educational system and how we as educators, parents, counselors can give the kind of support and emotional guidance to our students to our children so this kind of things doesn’t happen,” she said.

In a statement the Department of Education told HNN the boys involved were on campus after-hours illegally.

A spokesperson said the school’s summer program ended at 1:30 p.m. that day and the principal was the only person left on campus.

“Since the incident, the school has been vigilant about locking the back gate right after summer school ends to further deter trespassing,” she said.

HNN asked Honolulu police if the 12-year-old has been charged. The department declined to comment on the case, citing the boy’s age.

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