12-year-old arrested after machete attack on school grounds, authorities say
KALIHI, Hawaii (KHNL/KGMB/Gray News) - Authorities say a 12-year-old has been arrested in Hawaii after attacking a teen with a machete at a middle school last month.
KHNL/KGMB reports law enforcement sources said a 14-year-old was the victim of the attack and had to be hospitalized after suffering gashes to his wrist.
The Honolulu Police Department reported the incident happened at about 5:30 p.m. on June 23 at the Kalakaua Middle School.
According to sources, the 12-year-old walked up to the 14-year-old and started swinging the weapon. But it wasn’t immediately known what led up to the attack.
Mark Patterson, an administrator of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, said the violence of this magnitude among youth in Hawaii is rare.
“Right now, I can tell you of the population at the facility with felonies is minimal,” Patterson said.
He added when a child is arrested, locking them up is a last resort.
“We are very quick now in the judicial system to look for the program that can resolve whatever issues that led to the event,” Patterson said. “Sometimes, we recognize there was a mental health issue. So, the child will go in the mental health direction.”
But before anger has a chance to escalate, mom and educator Tracie Lopes believes it’s crucial children have somebody in their corner.
“It’s the whole educational system and how we as educators, parents and counselors can give the kind of support to our students that they need,” she said.
The Department of Education said the boys involved were on campus illegally after hours.
A department spokesperson said the school has been vigilant about locking the back gate after summer school ends to deter further trespassing.
Honolulu police declined to comment further on the charges the 12-year-old might be facing, citing the boy’s age.
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