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Kahaluu man confesses to violent purse snatching

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Zechariah Kanealii-Goins, 19, confessed to participating in a violent purse snatching incident Sunday near Kualoa Ranch.

A 19-year-old Kahaluu man has confessed that he participated in a violent purse snatching incident Sunday near Kualoa Ranch where a woman was hit by a car and dragged, according to court documents.

Zechariah Kanealii-Goins was initially arrested Sunday for driving without a license. That charge was later amended by investigating detectives to second-degree robbery after the suspect told police that he took part in the crime.

Also arrested on suspicion of second-degree robbery was a 17-year-old boy who was turned over to Family Court because he is a minor.

A preliminary hearing for Kanealii-Goins will be held Thursday in District Court.

He is being held at Oahu Community Correctional Center, unable to post bail of $25,000.

Police said the incident occurred just after 9:30 a.m. Sunday on Kamehameha Highway in front of Kualoa Ranch.

The victim, a 26-year-old woman, told police a man took her purse and jumped into a White Ford Explorer that fled northbound on Kamehameha Highway.

According to a police affidavit the victim ran after the white Ford Explorer attempting to retrieve her purse when she was hit and dragged by the fleeing vehicle.

Thirty minutes later police stopped the Ford Explorer at Kekio Road and Puakenikeni Road, two-and-half miles north of the crime scene.

The police affidavit said Kanealii-Goins was driving the vehicle.

Later during an interview with detectives at the Kaneohe police station, the suspect confessed to being an accessory to the crime.

Last year, another violent purse snatching incident in Waikiki claimed the life of a 52-year-old grandmother.

Jullie Stephenson, a grandmother of four grandchildren, was on the steps of her condo when a man approached from behind, grabbed her purse and violently threw her to the ground in front of her secured Waikiki apartment on Super Bowl Sunday. She was in a coma for three weeks and died Feb. 26.

Josiah L. Figueroa, 24, will face Circuit Court jury Oct. 26, after being charged second-degree robbery and manslaughter. He is being held in Oahu Community Correctional Center unable to raise bail of $500,000.

Manslaughter is a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, but prosecutors could seek a life sentence.

Police said Stephenson was attacked at about 9:20 p.m. Feb. 2 in front of her apartment building, Tradewinds, at 1720 Ala Moana Blvd.

Stephenson was taken to Straub Clinic & Hospital with multiple injuries including a broken hip and was bleeding internally.

Family members said she had been on her way home from work as a bartender at Assagio Ristorante Italiano at Ala Moana Center and was on the steps of her condo when she was attacked.

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