Good Samaritans take down purse-snatching suspect in Haleiwa

Photo: Jarmi Kotik

A robbery suspect in Haleiwa didn’t get away thanks to a group of people who jumped in to help.

Cell phone video shows several people holding down the 17-year-old suspect who tried to get away. The teen was taken into custody thanks to the good Samaritans.

The video is going viral and many people are reaching out on social media to say thanks to the men who helped.

But that also begs the question, when it comes to being a good Samaritan, what do you need to know before intervening?

One of the men in the video told KHON2 he was waiting for a table at Uncle Bo’s when he noticed the commotion. He says he didn’t hesitate to help.

He doesn’t want any recognition or extra attention, so he asked us not to identify him.

“Those guys that were chasing him at first had a hard time bringing him down, so when he broke loose from the first three to four guys, fortunately I was there. He didn’t pass me.”

Jarmi Kotik took the video and says the victim was a tourist. “The boys saved the day, so it was a community effort, and it was pretty awesome to watch. People were cheering,” she said.

We asked Ken Lawson, a professor at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, what happens if the suspect gets hurt.

“If you catch a suspect, you can’t beat the crap out of them, because you are mad that they were robbing a woman or a child or whatever. You still have to act reasonable,” he said.

Because the suspect is a minor, HPD will not release any more information about the case.

In the meantime, the man tells KHON2 he has never done anything like this before, but he wouldn’t hesitate to help again. “We need to take care of each other.”

The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii reports that last year, 50 robbery cases where the victims were tourists were reported to the agency.

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