An 8-year-old boy is recovering at the
Queen's Medical Center after falling 12 stories down a trash chute Wednesday
night. Honolulu police are investigating
whether the incident was accidental or intentional.
Police say they received a call
around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday reporting a missing child at the Towers at Kuhio
Park, formerly known as Kuhio Park Terrace, in Kalihi. When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered
a boy nearly an hour later inside a dumpster and called paramedics.
"It's not confirmed if he got dared to go down or to look inside of
it and he did go inside and he fell through," said a woman, whose sister lives
in Tower A where the boy and his mother lived on the 12th floor.
"The little boy has down syndrome," the woman described. "And you know, that kind of makes it more, you
know, daring to go down with somebody who doesn't know that much," said the
woman, visibly troubled by the incident.
A spokesperson with
the company that owns and manages the Towers at Kuhio Park says they were
relieved to hear the child is expected to be okay and have reached out to the
"We are also
helping police in their investigation. We are also conducting our own internal
investigation," said Laura
Zaner, Vice President of Communications for Michaels Development Company.
According to one resident, the boy's mother had fallen asleep and when
she woke up she realized he was missing.
"We were doing citizen patrol and then the mom came and asked us, ‘Have
you seen my son?' So that's when we started looking for her son," said
It's unclear how residents learned the boy was in the trash chute, but
they say they attempted to warn others.
"We had to go up all the building - the floors - and tell them to
not throw down their trash 'cause he was stuck," explained Mary Ann Tito.
Fire officials say they helped pull the boy from the dumpster once he
was located by police.
He was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in
Police have opened an injury case.
Child Protective Services has been notified.
Patricia McManaman, Director of the Department of Human, released the
following statement Thursday afternoon:
"The Department of Human Services investigates all cases involving
allegations of child abuse or neglect. Hawai‘i law, however, prohibits the DHS
from providing information related to cases involving child abuse or neglect.
As such we can neither confirm nor deny whether this family has had previous
contact with our Child Welfare Services Branch."
McManaman says this is a good opportunity to remind all parents and caregivers
to keep a watchful eye over their young children.