Family of man killed with machete sues Maui shopping center

WAILUKU — The family of a man killed in a machete attack is suing the Maui shopping center where the fatal assault happened for failing to provide adequate security, court records said.

The family of 35-year-old Eduardo Alejandro Cerezo filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului, The Maui News reported Tuesday.

The complaint filed for Cerezo’s mother and his minor child against QKC Maui Owner LLC, which owns the shopping center, seeks unspecified damages.

A jury convicted 24-year-old Kumulipo Sylva last month of manslaughter based on extreme mental or emotional disturbance.

Sylva’s defense attorney said he suffered from a mental disorder and was experiencing delusions when he attacked Cerezo, who was drinking alcohol in a public bathroom at the center with Kyle Keoho.

“You guys are demons, I send them to the moon,” Keoho testified he heard Sylva say before striking Cerezo in the neck with the machete, killing him instantly. “Believe it or not, he was a demon,” Keoho said Sylva told him.

Cerezo’s killing was the third stabbing in a second-story bathroom at the mall since 2011, the lawsuit said.

In addition to QKC Maui Owner LLC, the defendants include property manager Pendulum Property Partners LLC and security company Universal Protection Service LP doing business as Allied Universal Security Services.

The lawsuit also targets Sylva and Maui County, which operates the Maui Bus service that Sylva took to the shopping center.

The mall’s general manager and a spokeswoman for Allied Universal said in emails that their companies do not comment on pending litigation. Maui County spokesman Chris Sugidono also refused to comment on pending litigation.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

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