Man charged with knife-threat to ex-girlfriend

The Maui News

WAILUKU — Bail is set at $50,000 for a man who was arrested after he allegedly broke into his former girlfriend’s apartment in Wailuku and threatened her with a knife last month.

Sterling Elaban Paoa, 27, is charged with first-degree burglary, felony abuse in the presence of children under age 14, first-degree terroristic threatening and interfering with reporting of an emergency or crime.

During a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Wailuku District Court, Elaban Paoa’s former girlfriend testified she was asleep in her bedroom with her two children when Elaban Paoa broke in through the upstairs bedroom window at 3 a.m. Aug. 31.

After he fell into the bedroom, Elaban Paoa head-butted the woman on the side of her head three or four times, she said. She reported he held her arms down so she couldn’t call 911. At one point, he had her cellphone and held a knife, she said.

She and Elaban Paoa had been in a relationship from February to mid-August, when she said she ended the relationship because Elaban Paoa had been abusive.

Because she was afraid Elaban Paoa would break in, she said her father had secured the downstairs windows and she kept knives by the bed.

Judge Kirstin Hamman found there was probable cause to support the charges against Elaban Paoa. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 26 in 2nd Circuit Court.

Elaban Paoa also was arrested on a probation-violation warrant. He has prior convictions for crimes including second-degree theft and second-degree identity theft.

He was being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center.