A tourist attack in Waikiki on Sunday, left an Arizona woman with a concussion. She was visiting Oahu to celebrate her 28th birthday, when she was attacked by a homeless man near the Waikiki police substation at Kuhio Beach, a famous tourist beach.
According to the president and CEO of the Visitor Aloha Society, Jessica Lani Rich, the tourist witnessed a younger homeless man throwing an older homeless man’s belongings in to the street and told the younger man, “Don’t do that, you aren’t being nice.” His response was to swear at her and then punch in the face more than once.
The woman went unconscious and was taken to The Queens Medical Center for treatment of a concussion and bruising.
The homeless man was arrested.
There have been a number of attacks lately in the Waikiki area on tourists and local residents as well. It appears that the assaults are by homeless people.
In May, a Japanese couple went to use a bathroom at Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park in Kakaako that had a recent increase in homeless people after the city conducted a sweep in Kakaako to clear them out of the area.
The Japanese were both punched in the face, resulting in around $50,000 in medical costs. The homeless man suspected of the attack was charged with assault.
In March, a 25-year-old woman was attacked by a stranger with a box cutter in Waikiki. A stranger who was randomly yelling as he walked along famous Kalakaua Avenue, grabbed the woman and put her in a chokehold as he tried to cut her neck with the box cutter. The woman was able to protect her neck but suffered severe lacerations and abrasions to her hand, neck, and chin.
The man, a suspected homeless individual, Andrew Peppers, was arrested.
Just last week, a 27-year-old woman was sitting at Ala Moana Beach Park near lifeguard tower 1C heard a man yelling, and as he neared her, when she looked at him, he walked right up to her and hit her in the face so hard, she went unconscious. She sustained multiple fractures to her face. That suspect is still at large.
It is clear that Hawaii has a big homeless problem, and the city keeps trying to keep areas clear by sweeping them out of areas on encampment, however, sometimes it is these displacements that cause some of the homeless to mingle into more common areas.
It is known that those on drugs or who are not mentally stable are often capable of violent behavior, and unfortunately, some of the homeless are those people.
What is also distressing to Hawaii Tourism is that as of late, these attacks are happening in broad daylight, sometimes right next to a Police substation.