Suspect in court over attack on disabled man

WAILUKU – A wheelchair-bound man injured last week in an unprovoked attack in Lahaina suffered a 24-inch cut on his upper back that went from shoulder blade to shoulder blade, police reported.

The 32-year-old victim also reported being cut on his neck with a sharp object, suffering a 7-inch laceration that went from the right side of his esophagus to the left side of his jugular vein, according to police.

Information about the victim’s injuries was included in an affidavit to support the arrest of Patrick Peterson, who was identified as the attacker. Peterson, 25, of Lahaina is charged with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault.

On Friday afternoon, Peterson waived his right to have evidence on the charges presented at a preliminary hearing. He is scheduled to be arraigned March 27 in 2nd Circuit Court.

The attack occurred at about 3:35 p.m. March 7 as the victim was traveling west in his wheelchair on Mala Wharf Road. Another man was helping the victim go to the bathroom area when Peterson approached and cut the victim on his upper back, according to the affidavit. The man with the victim pushed Peterson back before he approached the victim again, cutting his neck, the document said.

Then Peterson stopped attacking. The other man wheeled the victim to the shower to wash off the blood.

Neither the victim nor the other man knows Peterson, police said.

A Lahaina patrol officer who arrived in the area about seven minutes later was told that Peterson was responsible for attacking the victim. When the officer ordered Peterson to get on the ground, “Peterson just growled and had a blank look on his face,” according to the affidavit.

When the officer tried to handcuff Peterson, he kept his hands under him while lying on his stomach, police said. He tried to get off the ground and get away from the officer until additional officers arrived to control Peterson.

After medics examined Peterson and found he had an elevated heart rate, a police officer transported Peterson to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he was admitted into the Adult Behavioral Health Unit.

Peterson was discharged Tuesday and was arrested that morning.

After the attack, the victim was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries and released. He had been prepared to testify in court Friday.

Peterson is being held in lieu of $300,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center. He has been ordered to have no contact with the victim and the other man and to stay away from the Mala Wharf area.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at