UH campus on alert after assault
The University of Hawaii issued an alert yesterday saying a female student reported a sexual assault on the Manoa campus by an unknown man in his 20s who began following her near Puck's Alley.
The assault comes after a Sunday morning break-in and burglary at a freshman dormitory allegedly by a Schofield Barracks soldier readying for deployment to Iraq.
In the sexual assault, the man followed her to a music building on campus, where he inappropriately touched, or fondled, her, the warning said. She screamed and ran to the building office, where she called campus security at 8:07 a.m., the alert said.
UH spokesman Gregg Takayama said, "We get more attention than other districts in the community, but I think if you look at the statistics, we're safer than most other districts of our size in the state.
"We have a large campus -- 300 acres, 20,000 students -- so we take all the normal precautions we can," he said. "Unfortunately, our campus sometimes tends to be a magnet for those intent on doing wrong. We do what we can to ask students to be on the lookout for people like that."
The school issued a description of the suspect, who is reportedly about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds, with black, wavy crew-cut hair and a fair complexion. He was seen wearing a black/blue long-sleeved shirt, with dark dress pants and dark shoes.
Anyone with information on this suspect is urged to call police at 911 and campus security at 956-6911.
In the Sunday morning case, a 20-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier was arrested on suspicion of first-degree burglary and unauthorized entry into a dwelling.
The man allegedly entered Hale Aloha Lokelani and burglarized a room. The 18-year-old female student went downstairs to report the incident, and the man allegedly entered another room and stole some items belonging to another 18-year-old female student. The man was detained by a student until police arrived.
The soldier belongs to the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, which is in the process of deploying to Iraq, said Chief Master Sgt. David Rhodes, of division public affairs.
The suspect was arrested at 9:35 a.m. Sunday and had yet to be charged last night.
Takayama said the university is trying to increase security, although he said it is considered safe.
The university has tried unsuccessfully to get off-duty police officers to patrol from dawn to dusk to assist campus security officers, but the Honolulu Police Department has turned down the request, he said.
The university is also asking the Legislature for $1 million to add 15 campus security officers, he said.