Big Island detectives are investigating an incident in Puna that left a Keaʻau woman hospitalized.
Saturday (October 22) shortly after 12 a.m., Puna patrol officers responded to the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision to investigate a report of a woman screaming for assistance. Upon arrival, police discovered the 69-year-old woman with severe head injuries and determined that a man forced his way into her home before assaulting her.
Officers from the Puna district converged in the area to assist in the search for the suspect. He was observed fleeing the home upon officers’ arrival at the scene.
At about 1:25 a.m., following an extensive search, 18-year-old Seferin Tilipau of Keaʻau was found hiding in a nearby house and was arrested and taken into custody. He is being held in the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section conduct further investigation into the incidents, which are classified as first-degree burglary and second-degree attempted murder.
Police have recovered what they believe to be the weapon used in the assault.
Hawaii Fire Department medics took the victim to Hilo Medical Center, where she was treated for her injuries and is listed in stable condition.
Police are asking that anyone with information about this case call Detective Derek Morimoto at 961-2380 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.