LIHUE — Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. reached out to California teacher Tim Corcoran to apologize for the attack near the Hanalei Pier Saturday night.
“I wanted to personally meet with the youth and teachers involved in the incident, and I was disappointed to find out they already left the island,” Carvalho said in an email. “I also thanked Tim for bringing groups of young people to Kauai and I hope that he will continue to do so.”
Carvalho called Corcoran on Wednesday to apologize, to wish him his best and to offer his help on the matter.
“I was very happy that he called,” Corcoran said. “It made me feel very good.”
According to Corcoran, the mayor also said during their brief conversation he will push the police to do everything they can to investigate.
Although the students have left for the Mainland, Holo Holo Charters owner Kevin Millet invited Corcoran and the students on a free boat ride out of Port Allen Harbor in Eleele.
“I felt bad for him and the kids and and I hate to see it when visitors are treated that way,” Millett said. “I wanted them to leave the island with a better taste for aloha.”
Corcoran, 60, had taken a group of 22 California eighth-grade students out for a night in Hanalei as part of their graduation celebration. As the students were about to leave after enjoying a closing ceremony and sunset at Hanalei Pier, they were allegedly attacked by about 20 people.
Corcoran was one of the teachers injured during the incident when he was struck by an unidentified man believed to have started the alleged altercation by striking an eighth-grade boy with the group.
New details about the incident emerged from the reports of teachers Julie Boettler and John Bock, who were with the students during the incident.
According to Boettler, as students walked toward their vans, which were parked at the end of the pier, to leave, the driver of a truck parked behind the vans called one of the students over to him and there was an exchange.
When the boy went into one of the vans, the driver came over to the van and struck the boy as another teacher attempted to intervene, Boettler said.
When Corcoran tried to intervene, he was struck in the face. Boettler then grabbed the male and he spit in her face, she said.
As the situation escalated, more people began to appear. Boettler said a man stuck his head inside one of the vans and screamed at three eighth-grade girls to get out.
“The whole thing was very illogical because they were yelling at us to get out of there but they were blocking us so we couldn’t leave,” Bock said. “I’m a bigger guy, but it was a very scary event.”
Bock said the individuals were encouraging him to fight them and that he was shoved and struck in the chest.
“They were trying to get me to throw a punch,” he said. “They were definitely out looking for a fight, calling me all sorts of obscenities.”
Bock said there were close to 20 individuals presented, mostly men, but some women.
“It was adrenaline and you were seeing tunnel vision in front of you and chaos on the peripheral,” Boettler said.
Boettler said students weren’t allowed to bring any electronic devices with them on the trip, so no photos were taken during the attack.
The suspects fled when they heard police sirens approaching.
The incident is being investigated as an assault case, with possible criminal harassment and property damage for those who were involved, according to county spokeswoman Sarah Blane.
Averie Soto, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writer Ryan Kazmirzack contributed to this report.