A judge convicted a Maui man of robbery, assault and other charges after a trial where a boy testified about how a stranger at school grabbed his iPad and choked him.
Nicholas Slot, 34, was found guilty last week, the Maui News reported.
The boy, now 12, testified that he was sitting with a classmate and studying for a Hawaiian studies class on a bench outside the fourth-grade classroom at Sacred Heart School in Lahaina last year when a stranger approached.
The man asked where the office was and asked if he could show the boy something on his iPad, the boy testified. The boy said he pulled the school-issued iPad toward his body because he didn’t want anyone touching it.
“He grabs the iPad away from me, puts his hand against my neck and presses me against the back of the bench,” the boy said. “He grabbed it pretty firmly and ripped it out of my hands, and he was choking me to the point where I couldn’t breathe.”
He estimated the man’s hand was on his neck for 11 seconds.
The man used an obscenity several times in saying that he would hurt the boy if he told anyone about taking his iPad, the boy said.
When another student ran into the classroom screaming that the boy was being choked, teacher Luwynda Quandt said she ran outside and followed the man. He handed her the iPad, she said. “He told me that it was just a test and that he worked for the Maui Police Department. He shouted some obscenity, that I needed to get back in the classroom.”
Police arrested Slot. Slot didn’t testify at his trial.
He faces up to 10 years in prison for the robbery charge. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in March.