KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Maui Mall security officer lost the tip of her finger during a scuffle with a belligerent man on Monday.
The suspect, Alex Hand, was arrested and formally charged with first-degree assault.
Tisha Kahaleauki-Souza said she was at work when she got a phone call saying her mother had been was attacked. Kahaleauki-Souza immediately rushed to the hospital.
"I walked into the room and I saw her finger and it wasn't even there. I didn't even know what to say. Her face, her eyes were closed. She was clenching her teeth so bad…she was in so much pain, extricating pain, and all I saw was blood. I couldn't even see her finger. I just saw blood," Kahaleauki-Souza said.
It all started around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday when a manager at the Maui Mall Wendy's called security for help with the homeless man. The manager said he was hostile, intoxicated, and refusing to leave.
"He don't wanna go out and he's making a mess and I think he's drinking some bottles…and after that the security guard came in and I think she's trying to push him outside and he don't want to go outside," Catherine Lorenzo said.
A spokesperson for Maui Mall said the man punched the security officer in her head twice before chomping down on her left ring finger. About half an inch of her fingertip was ripped off. Doctors were unable to reattach it. The security officer was Kahaleauki-Souza's mother.
"He hurt my mom but it could have been anybody. It could have been anybody's mom, anybody's child," Kahaleauki-Souza said.
Kahaleauki-Souza said she and her mother spotted Hand walking down East Wakea Avenue and Hukilike Street in Kahului around 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Kahaleauki-Souza started video-taping as she called police and kept rolling as officers took Hand into custody.
"How can a human do that to another human…I want him in jail," said Kahaleauki-Souza.
Hand's bail is set at $10,000.
Maui Mall's spokesperson said the officer hopes the incident will help justify the need for a change to the mall policy which currently doesn't allow officers to carry handcuffs or pepper spray. They say the officer is in good spirits despite losing part of her finger and she hopes to be back at work by next week.