Kauai teen
will be tried
as adult

The student allegedly attacked
his teacher with a machete

LIHUE » A 16-year-old former Kauai High School student will be formally charged today with the attempted murder of his teacher, after a judge ruled that prosecutors could try him as an adult.


Andrew Sarita: The 16-year-old faces charges of attempted murder and burglary

Andrew Sarita was 15 in November when he entered a classroom brandishing a machete and allegedly threatened to kill teacher Timothy O'Rourke, according to prosecutors.

O'Rourke, a special-needs teacher who was teaching an after-school program for students with behavioral problems, suffered a minor injury to his hand.

The decision to charge Sarita as an adult was handed down yesterday morning in a Fifth Circuit Family Court hearing when Judge Calvin Murashige waived jurisdiction in the case.

After the hearing, Sarita was arrested for suspicion of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree criminal property damage, first-degree burglary and first-degree terroristic threatening, said County Prosecuting Attorney Craig De Costa.

Sarita, who is being held at the Kauai Police Department cellblock in lieu of $100,000 bail, was scheduled to be arraigned today in District Court.

De Costa said it was one of only a few times he has tried a juvenile as an adult in his eight-plus years with the Kauai prosecutor's office.

"The fact that it was an attempted-murder charge and it wasn't the first time he went after the victim" warranted the special circumstances, De Costa said.

De Costa said Sarita was suspended from school at the time of the incident because of a confrontation with O'Rourke a few days earlier.

Sarita was supposed to be under house arrest for the previous incident with O'Rourke when he returned to the school with the machete. After the teacher escaped injury, Sarita allegedly turned to O'Rourke's pickup truck, slashing the tires and breaking the windows before running off.

Sarita was arrested the next day. Prior to yesterday's hearing, he was being held at a detention home on Oahu, De Costa said.

| | |
E-mail to City Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com