Joshua Lehauli, 28, is shown in Juneau District Court on Thursday for his arraignment on charges of first-degree assault and first-degree robbery for reportedly assaulting another man with a baseball bat and holding him at gunpoint on Sunday. Lehauli was also wanted for a $5,000 arrest warrant connected to two counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Joshua Lehauli, 28, is shown in Juneau District Court on Thursday for his arraignment on charges of first-degree assault and first-degree robbery for reportedly assaulting another man with a baseball bat and holding him at gunpoint on Sunday. Lehauli was also wanted for a $5,000 arrest warrant connected to two counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Man arrested in connection to home invasion attack

First, the suspect entered an apartment demanding someone open a safe. Then, after his demands were ignored, he used a metal baseball bat and a gun to subdue a man for several hours while property was taken from the residence.

That’s according to a Juneau Police Department complaint that names Joshua Lehauli, 28, as an attacker in a home invasion late Sunday afternoon. JPD arrested Lehauli Wednesday on an unrelated outstanding warrant, and he has since been charged with first-degree assault and first-degree robbery.

Lehauli made his first court appearance in Juneau District Court on Thursday, and a prosecutor argued for him to remain behind bars in lieu of $50,000 bail.

According to the police complaint, Lehauli left a 37-year-old man so injured after the attack that both of his eyes were nearly swollen shut. The incident occurred at an unnamed apartment complex in the 3200 block of Hospital Drive.

JPD learned about the attack when the alleged victim sought medical attention the next day at Bartlett Regional Hospital. BRH employees told police at 9:55 a.m. that an assault victim had checked into the emergency room.

When police later responded to the assault victim’s residence to investigate the scene, police “found the door to be open, blood on the floor and walls, and overturned furniture consistent with (the victim’s) statements,” JPD Sgt. Dominic Branson wrote in the police complaint. Another officer found a metal baseball bat with blood on it, the complaint states.

In an interview with police, the victim said he was scared he would die as Lehauli held him at gunpoint, and watched as other people carried out his personal property. It’s unknown at this point how many people were involved with the robbery, but JPD spokesman Lt. David Campbell said in an interview that Lehauli was the top priority for arrest in the case as he was “calling the shots.”

By phone, Campbell told the Empire that officers around town began looking for vehicles and checking residences Lehauli had been associated with. Some eight to 10 JPD officers worked the case, interviewed multiple witnesses and served two search warrants.

The police complaint states officers on Tuesday found a vehicle Lehauli had been in possession of, with stereo equipment inside that matched items stolen from the assault victim’s residence, as well as a gun that matched the assault victim’s description as the one Lehauli pointed at him.

JPD Detective Matthew DuBois interviewed Lehauli the following day, the complaint states. DuBois said Lehauli admitted to being inside the assault victim’s apartment and confessed to using a bat to injure the man. But, DuBois summarized, Lehauli maintained he did not point a gun at anyone. Lehauli also admitted to DuBois that he and others carried out property from the victim’s home, the police complaint alleges.

Lehauli was arrested Wednesday on an unrelated $5,000 arrest warrant connected to two counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. Those charges are the lowest level of felony classification, class C.

Lehauli is now facing two class A felony charges for first-degree robbery and assault in connection to the home invasion. Those charges can be punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Campbell said that while Lehauli is connected to the “drug subculture” in town, the attack seems to be random and not associated with any drug dealings.

Lehauli’s mother, Elenoa Lehauli, spoke with the Empire by phone Thursday and said that is not the case. She said her son did not randomly attack the man in the apartment but that he was acting in retaliation. The mother alleges the assault victim had previously caused harm to her son’s then-pregnant girlfriend. The couple also share an 8-month-old daughter, she said.

Lehauli is a former Juneau-Douglas High School football star, who was once ranked number one in the state.

He is struggling with a drug addiction, his mother said tearfully by phone.

“My son has a big heart and is a good guy,” she said. “Drugs just does this to everyone. He hangs out with the wrong people and gets into the wrong things. We have done everything we can for this boy. I love my son. I know he did what he did because he was angry (about) what happened to his girlfriend.”

Elenoa Lehauli noted that when officers came to her home Wednesday (Lehauli lives with her), her son went with them peacefully and was prepared to deal with the consequences of his actions.

Court records online show Joshua Lehauli has prior criminal convictions.

In 2008, he pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge and drunken driving. The drug charge was tied to importing $4,000 worth of cocaine from the Lower 48, Empire archives show.

Other past Empire records indicate Lehauli was also convicted in a criminal case in 2006 for punching a woman in the head, twice.

His next court appearance is a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 26. That hearing will be vacated if an indictment is reached before then.

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