Pahoa man, 18, faces multiple charges after allegedly using pepper spray on 74-year-old Puna resident

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
·1 min read

Feb. 23—An 18-year-old Pahoa man, who allegedly used pepper spray to rob a 74-year-old man Feb. 12 in Leilani Estates in Puna, was charged today with robbery and other offenses.

After conferring with prosecutors, Hawaii County police charged Kauka Santiago with first-degree robbery, first-degree theft, first-degree burglary during an emergency period and third-degree assault. His bail was set at $77, 000.

Santiago, known to dress often as a woman, was a female acquaintance to the 74-year-old man, police said. A criminal complaint filed today said he was known as "Crystal."

Police said he went to the older man's door and sprayed him in the face with pepper spray.

While the man went to rinse off the chemical, Santiago allegedly unlawfully entered the home, threatened the man and stole several valuable items, police said.

Santiago took an iPhone 7 and an iPad, valued at more than $300, a criminal complaint said.

The older man jumped out of a bedroom window and hid in the bushes until Santiago was gone.

On Wednesday evening, police found Santiago in Leilani Estates and arrested him on three outstanding warrants for his arrest, issued for revocation of supervised release, and one bench warrant for failure to appear in a third-degree assault and fourth-degree drug case.

On Thursday, Santiago made an appearance in Hilo District Court. The judge granted supervised release on the warrants, but remains in custody on the robbery charges.

He was charged Friday, and was scheduled today for a Hilo District Court appearance.

Police remind the public that due to the governor's COVID-19 emergency proclamation, certain offenses carry enhanced penalties, including but not limited to burglary, theft, criminal property damage and robbery.