Elijah Spriggs-Kahalewai, the man police say exposed himself to two girls at Waikele Elementary School, appeared in court Monday.
The incident occurred on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at around 3:15 p.m. at the school.
According to earlier court documents, Spriggs-Kahalewai saw the girls in a school restroom that day, “told them to be quiet” and then “pulled down his pants.”
“One child tried to run away (and) he grabbed the child by the arm,” stated deputy prosecutor Sean Van Demark.
Spriggs-Kahalewai was subsequently charged with two counts of sex assault, harassment, open lewdness and simple trespassing. His bail was set at $6,000. He’s due back in court on Dec. 21.
According to a letter that was sent home to parents, the incident took place during after-school hours at the school’s A+ program.
The letter states “a suspicious man walked into the girl’s bathroom near the cafeteria. Two of our students were inside at the time. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan had been observing the suspicious man and chased him away.
“Police were notified of the man loitering before he made his way into the restroom. Adults in the area detained the man on Kukula St. until police arrived and arrested him.”
From the get-go, Brandon Spears knew something wasn’t right as he watched Spriggs-Kahalewai walking in the Waikele area.
“He had his pants down, he didn’t have his shirt on, so his butt cheeks were showing,” he said.
Spears didn’t let the stranger out of his sight.
“I was about 100 feet behind him in this area right here. I followed him up, he went up to the playground and the lady that was there with her two kids, he stared at them and at that point, I was like, he was going to do something,” Spears said.
Kelly Kawamura said she was at the playground with her child, and also witnessed the incident.
“He just kept walking and I just felt weird and then as he walked away, he pulled down his pants,” Kawamura said.
Spears and Kawamura told KHON2 they saw Spriggs-Kahalewai walk into the girls’ bathroom. They did not know anyone was inside.
“I heard screams as soon as he walked in, and you know the weird feeling behind your neck comes in, and I was like, oh no, this is bad,” Spears said. “That’s when literally, my flip flops came off and I sprinted and yelled at him. He came out of the bathroom, he looked around, pulled up his pants and then he ran.”
Spears is a military police K9 handler and knew exactly what to do.
“At that point, just training from the military kind of stepped into play,” Spears said. “I told him to get on the ground, on his belly, put his hands on the small of his back and cross his ankles, and at that point, we just sat there until HPD arrived.”
Faculty members at Waikele Elementary also helped, but the Department of Education gives credit to Spears.
“This Good Samaritan is a fine example of what to do and that’s looking out for their entire community,” said Donalyn Dela Cruz with the Department of Education.
Spears, who has a child of his own, says he’s happy that he helped the two girls in the bathroom, and said he also acted on instinct. Helping his community, especially children, is something he never hesitates to do.
“That makes me feel good because I got to save children, which literally is the most important thing I feel in today’s society,” Spears said.
On Friday, the operator of the A+ program told KHON2 a staff member will now escort all students to the restroom, instead of using the buddy system.