Suspected East Oahu kidnapper sexually assaulted, choked and nearly drowned woman, police say

Austin Q. Joseph, 23, is in custody at the Oahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $1 million bail.

A 23-year-old man accused in the April 3 kidnapping of a 22-year-old woman in East Oahu allegedly wielded a knife at her, held her against her will and sexually assaulted her, according to court documents.

Austin Q. Joseph made his initial court appearance before Judge Melanie May at Honolulu District Court Monday after prosecutors charged him Saturday with kidnapping and unauthorized possession of confidential information.

He is in custody at the Oahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $1 million bail.

Police said the woman was driving her 2017 Honda Civic on Kalanianaole Highway on the night of April 3 when she struck a rock on the roadway.

When she stopped her car, a man later identified as Joseph approached her, allegedly brandished a knife and told her “This is a robbery,” according to court documents released Monday that provide details on the kidnapping.

The woman’s boyfriend reported to police he was on the phone with her when he suddenly heard a male’s voice and his girlfriend scream before “the telephone line cuts off.”

He immediately called 911 and sought help from friends via Facebook to help find her after multiple calls to her cellular phone went unanswered.

Police said Joseph entered her vehicle and held her against her will. He allegedly sexually assaulted her, choked her and almost drowned her. Police said he also took her phone, laptop and wallet that contained her credit/debit card.

The victim was later located at a family member’s residence.

A surveillance camera at the Aloha gas station at Windward Mall captured images of Joseph allegedly using the woman’s card where he withdrew $100 from an ATM machine at about 12:40 a.m. on April 4.

Seven days later, a police officer of the Honolulu Police Department’s District 4 Crime Reduction Unit was patrolling the area of Windward Mall at about 2:05 p.m. when he noticed a dark-colored sedan with the driver’s side mirror missing.

The officer observed Joseph seated in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and recognized him as the man in the surveillance images.

Police arrested him on suspicion of fraudulent use of a credit card and unauthorized possession of confidential personal information.

After further investigation, police arrested Joseph in connection with the kidnapping.