Update: District Court judge maintains bail for Puna man accused of starving a toddler

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Update: A Hilo District Court judge maintained bail on a man accused of starving and physically abusing a toddler.

Clayton Ernest Saragosa, 31, of Mountain View, made an initial appearance before Judge Jeffrey Hawk on Monday in the Puna Courtroom. The public defender requested a bail study be completed, which was granted.

Saragosa remains in police custody on $85,000 bail and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

Saragosa has a history of domestic abuse. In 2012, he appeared in Family Court on a complaint of abuse of a household member.


In 2017, a temporary restraining order was filed against the 31-year-old, which was later dismissed without prejudice.

Original post: Hawai‘i Island police have arrested and charged 31-year-old Clayton Ernest Saragosa, of Mountain View, with various offenses stemming from the heinous abuse and starvation of a two-year-old girl.

Thirty-one-year-old Clayton Ernest Saragosa has been charged with the extreme abuse of a two-year-old girl. Saragosa is the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother. (Courtesy of Hawaii Island Police)

On Saturday morning, March 23, 2024, shortly after 2:00 a.m., Hilo patrol officers responded to the Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room for a report of a two-year-old girl who had been admitted to the emergency room with various burn marks, physical signs of dehydration and malnutrition, bruising at various stages of healing, and a fractured rib and femur bone, also in the healing stages.

Due to the extent of the physical injuries and the child’s malnutrition, she was flown to Kapiolani Medical Center on Oahu for further treatment. She remains hospitalized at this time in stable condition.

Area I Juvenile Aid Section detectives responded to the hospital to continue this investigation.

Detectives later determined that Saragosa, who is the live-in boyfriend of the child’s 23-year-old mother, had reportedly periodically denied the girl food and water, and regularly physically abused her over a period of several months.

On March 23, 2024, at 4:40 a.m., Saragosa was arrested at his residence in Mountain View. Two of his biological sons, ages 12 and 13, who reside in the home, were placed into protective custody for their safety, and later released to Child Welfare Services. Two additional sons of Saragosa from a previous relationship, ages 8 and 4, who were there for a weekend visitation, were also placed into protective custody, and released to their mother. 

Child Welfare Services has opened an investigation into the health and safety of all children within the residence.

On Sunday evening, March 24, after conferring with the County Prosecutor’s Office, detectives from the Area I Juvenile Aid Section charged Saragosa with the following offenses:

  • First-degree assault
  • Second-degree assault
  • Abuse family household member
  • Two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

His bail was set at $85,000.

Saragosa’s initial court appearance is scheduled for Monday afternoon, March 25, in Hilo District Court.

A criminal investigation related to the mother’s role in this matter remains continuing, and upon completion will be forwarded to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

Police ask anyone who may have information relative to this investigation to please contact Detective Patrick Aurello of the Area I Juvenile Aid Section, at 808-961-8810, or via email at [email protected] or the police department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311.  

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