Campus stalking evokes ’04 case
The man may have targeted Japanese students previously
A man who allegedly stalked two Japanese students from Ala Moana to their University of Hawaii at Manoa dormitory Saturday night is believed to have targeted Japanese students before, university officials said.
Campus security officers are looking for the man who allegedly followed two women on a bus from Ala Moana Center at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday and refused to leave when the students got back to their Hale Noelani apartment. Students and staff received an e-mail alert over the weekend, warning them to look out for any suspicious people.
Officials said a man matching his description was reported to have stalked Japanese students in 2004.
"The description given by the Japanese students in this most recent incident matches what happened several years ago, and it also seems to match this person," said university spokesman Gregg Takayama. "He does have a fluency in Japanese, which is why he seems to target Japanese students."
Campus Security had taken a photo of the man after the 2004 incident and warned him not to come back on campus for a year or he would be cited for trespassing. It is unclear what offenses and consequences the man could face if Campus Security finds him after Saturday's incident, Takayama said, though it could include a trespassing or harassment citation.
Takayama said the man, who is described in his 40s to 50s, tries to befriend the women and, at some point, asks for money. Takayama said officials believe the man is homeless, which makes it more difficult for Campus Security to locate him.
The man was described as Caucasian, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, with a tan complexion and a salt-and-pepper crew cut. He was wearing green hospital scrubs, a cream-colored visor cap and light-blue slippers. He also had a backpack and a plastic bag and was carrying a red or black bicycle.
Anyone who sees anything suspicious on the campus is asked to call 911 or Campus Security at 956-6911.
Christie Sandvik, a 23-year-old senior who lives on the first floor of Hale Noelani, said she was not surprised by the e-mail alert after receiving messages about several dorm break-ins since August.
"Security is terrible," said Sandvik, who carries tear gas as protection. "I don't feel safe walking back from campus sometimes. Security seems to be only in well-lit areas and not in the darker areas."
Jessica Han, 20, a transfer student from San Diego who lives in Hale Noelani, said she finds the e-mail alerts helpful.
"It's good to know what's going on and what to look out for," she said.