HANALEI — An outdoors teacher visiting Kauai with his students said they were attacked by a group of people Saturday night near the Hanalei Pier.
“I thought we were going to die,” said Tim Corcoran, who said he was struck in the face during the incident. “It was really terrifying.”
The 60-year-old, who is a longtime visitor to Kauai, brought his 22 eighth-grade students and a few teachers from the California private school to the island for a graduation celebration. After enjoying dinner in town, they stopped at the Hanalei Pier to watch the sunset.
As the students began to walk back to their four vans to leave, Corcoran said a truck pulled up. There was an exchange of some sort between the driver and one of the male students and the situation quickly escalated. One of the teachers tried to talk the man into leaving, but he hit the student, Corcoran said, and shouted and threatened the students and teachers.
Corcoran said as a female chaperone tried to calm the man down, more young adults emerged, kicking and shaking the vans while students were crying and screaming. The attackers spit on a female chaperone, he said. During the confrontation, he was punched in the face and another chaperone was also struck, Corcoran said.
“I didn’t know when it was going to stop,” he added. “I expected it to happen in New York City, not Kauai.”
According to county spokeswoman Sarah Blane, police responded to a report of an assault about 8 p.m. Saturday at the Hanalei Pier.
She wrote that a male chaperone “relayed that he and two other males with his group, one adult and one minor, were assaulted by two, possibly three male suspects.”
Corcoran said before the ordeal was over, their attackers numbered about 20.
The incident lasted about 15 minutes.
“I couldn’t stop shaking,” he said. “It was complete and total mayhem and I’m not embellishing this at all.”
The suspects fled the scene when they heard the sirens approaching, he said.
Corcoran said it was a scary situation, which he wanted to go public so it doesn’t happen again.
He said he has been coming to Kauai for over 35 years and has a lot of friends here. “I love this place,” he said.
Although the officers didn’t find the suspects, the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 241-1711