Felon accused of violent assault, robbery of elderly man in downtown Hilo


CORRECTION: A previous version of this story erroneously reported that Armitage as on probation for a prior assault convicton. His probation in that case was revoked on May 6.

A 27-year-old Pahoa man with a prior conviction for first-degree assault is in police custody, accused with the violent beating of an elderly man Sunday afternoon in downtown Hilo.


Police responded shortly after 12:30 p.m. to a reported assault on Kilauea Avenue near the Keawe Street junction. Officers found the 68-year-old victim lying on the sidewalk unconscious and bleeding from his head and face.

The victim was taken by ambulance to the Hilo Medical Center emergency room and later flown to The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu where he remains in critical condition, police said Tuesday.

Police canvassed the area for witnesses and video surveillance of the broad-daylight incident. Officers identified Chad Kalenakai Gahan Armitage Jr. as the suspect and located him at about 5:18 p.m. in front of a business on the 400 block of Kilauea Avenue.

After a short foot pursuit by officers, Armitage was taken into custody. He was charged this morning with two counts of first-degree assault and second-degree robbery.

Bail is set at $75,000 and Armitage remains in police custody pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday in Hilo District Court.

Armitage was convicted in 2019 of first-degree assault for a 2017 incident.

Both first-degree assault and second-degree robbery are Class B felonies punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, upon conviction.

Police are asking witnesses to the assault to contact Detective John Balberde the Hilo Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2386 or John.Balberde@hawaiicounty.gov, or to call the police department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Police are reminding the public to remain vigilant, as crime can occur during daylight hours and in public places, and to be aware of their surroundings, especially concerning suspicious persons and activity.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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