Puna man charged for alleged ‘heinous abuse’ of a 2-year-old


Police have arrested and charged 31-year-old Clayton Ernest Saragosa of Mountain View with various offenses stemming from the “heinous abuse and starvation of a two-year-old girl,” according to the Hawaii Police Department.

On Saturday morning shortly after 2 a.m., Hilo patrol officers responded to the Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room for a report that a two-year-old girl had been admitted to the ER with various burn marks, physical signs of dehydration and malnutrition, bruising at various stages of healing, and a fractured rib and femur bone, also in the healing stages.


Due to the extent of the physical injuries and the child’s malnutrition, she was flown to Kapiolani Medical Center on Oahu for further treatment. She remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Detectives responded to the hospital to continue the investigation.

Detectives later determined that Saragosa, who is the live-in boyfriend of the child’s 23-year-old mother, had reportedly denied the girl food and water and regularly physically abused her over a period of several months.

On Sunday at 4:40 a.m., Saragosa was arrested at his residence in Mountain View. Two of his biological sons, ages 12 and 13, who reside in the home, were placed into protective custody for their safety and later released to Child Welfare Services.

Two additional sons of Saragosa from a previous relationship, ages 8 and 4, who were there for a weekend visitation, also were placed into protective custody and released to their mother.

CWS has opened an investigation into the health and safety of all children within the residence.

On Sunday evening, Saragosa was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, abuse of a family household member and two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. His bail was set at $85,000.

Saragosa’s initial court appearance is scheduled for this afternoon in Hilo District Court.

A criminal investigation related to mother’s role in this matter remains continuing, and upon completion will be forward to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, according to police.

Police ask anyone who may have information relative to this investigation to please contact Detective Patrick Aurello of the Area I Juvenile Aid Section, at (808) 961-8810, or via email at Patrick.Aurello@hawaiicounty.gov or the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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