Sheriff Wilcox arrests Limaloa’s attackers

Back in the late 1800s, when Samuel W. Wilcox (1847-1929) was sheriff of Kaua‘i, an old man named Limaloa was found by his family lying unconscious and badly beaten on the ground by his awa patch, located in one of the little side valleys on the slopes of the Ha‘upu Range above Hule‘ia Valley.  

Limaloa’s family notified Sheriff Wilcox in Lihu‘e. After Wilcox examined Limaloa, he sent for Dr. James W. Smith (1810-1887) of Koloa, who arrived later by horse and treated Limaloa, but offered little hope for his recovery.

Wilcox soon learned from another Hule‘ia resident named Ukauka that about a month earlier a man from Anahola had visited Hule‘ia and had asked for the location of Limaloa’s awa patch.

Sheriff Wilcox arrested that man and locked him up in the old Lihu‘e jail, located where the big Nawiliwili bulk sugar warehouse now stands.  

At first, Wilcox could get nothing out of him, but after Wilcox warned him it would be “pilikia” for him should Limaloa die, the man’s resolve weakened and he confessed.

While admitting no involvement in the crime himself, he told Wilcox that he suspected a group of 10 men, who drank awa at Kiaipaa’s house near Homaikawaa Beach, situated north of Kealia and just south of Ahihi Point.  

He went on the say that these men — but not himself — had planned to raid Limaloa’s awa patch, but had panicked and had run off without stealing any awa after witnessing the severe beating three of them had given Limaloa.

Wilcox then obtained warrants to arrest the suspects and, with several policemen accompanying him, apprehended them in Keapana Valley, where he had summoned them without telling them of his purpose.

Limaloa recovered from his injuries and two of the suspects, convicted in court of attacking Limaloa, were jailed.


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