KAPAA — Police arrested two men who allegedly threatened a woman with a gun outside St. Catherine School Tuesday afternoon.
Shortly before 2 p.m., police were dispatched to the school on Kawaihau Road in Kapaa, where it was reported that two men had threatened a woman with a gun, according to a Kauai Police Department press release.
A police dispatch call around 2:30 p.m. said one of the men threatened a woman and a child at gunpoint, attempting to force them into his car. Police said no injuries were reported.
According to witness reports collected by police, the men, whose identifies have not bee released, fled the scene in a white Toyota Tacoma and drove down Kawaihau Road. They were spotted near Lihi Park, then pursued by police up Olohena Road before abandoning their vehicle at Waipouli Road, police said.
Waipuna Puulei, a resident of Waipouli Road in Kapaa, said one of the men tried to hide on his property after the truck broke down in the street near his home.
“I guess he hit a pothole right in front of my house,” Puulei said. “It popped his tire or something because he had to get out and go straight into the bushes, which was my house.”
Puulei was at work when he got a call from his girlfriend that police were chasing a man near his house. By the time he got home, police were wrapping things up, but he said relatives and friends told him the truck was speeding up the highway when it hit a pothole, swerved and spun around 180 degrees. The two men jumped out of the car and fled on foot. Thirteen police cars followed closely behind.
Puulei said one of the suspects ran down a hill away from the road, and the other hid in a nearby patch of bamboo, but it didn’t take long for police, working with a dog and a helicopter, to catch both men.
A KPD press release did not specify when the suspects were arrested, but shortly after 3 p.m., a Kauai police officer at St. Catherine School told parents and staff both suspects had been taken into custody.
St. Catherine School administrators and teachers kept a close eye on students waiting to get picked up after school let out Thursday afternoon.
“We’re just trying to keep our kiddos as safe as possible,” Principal Britt Cocumelli said, as she walked hurriedly between school buildings. “We’re just lucky to have teachers with so much love for our students.”
Immediately following the incident, school officials contacted parents and placed the school on lockdown, according to a KPD press release. The school lockdown has since been lifted.