Erin Von, right, was attacked Tuesday in the women's bathroom at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center while leaving a stall with her 22-month-old son, Logan.

Victim says moms
are an assault target

A woman robbed in a restroom
believes that mothers with babies
are more vulnerable

A 33-year-old woman was assaulted and robbed while leaving a restroom stall with her infant son at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center on Keahole Street this week.

"I want it known that mothers with children need to be careful," said Erin Von. "A mom with a baby is a target because they will always defend their child before they defend their purse."

Honolulu Police Lt. Abner DeLima of Central Patrol District Seven said, "It's unfortunate that this happened to her, but as far as I know it's an isolated situation."

Von said she went into the restroom next to the Ross store about 5 p.m. Tuesday with her 22-month-old son, Logan, choosing the handicap stall because of the extra room.

She picked up her son with her right arm and held her purse with her left arm as she swung the door outward to leave.

"Boom, I was hit on the face, right on the forehead with something hard and flat," she said.

"I fell to the floor backwards. I had my son in my arm and was not going to let him go."

Someone was grabbing at her, so she straightened her left arm "so they could take what they wanted and not hurt my son," she said.

The back of her son's head also hit the floor when she fell, but "the way I was holding him, he didn't hit it hard" and wasn't injured, she said.

She held on to him so tightly that he had fingerprint marks on his legs, she said.

Her attacker was wearing dark shorts, a faded dark T-shirt and had black or dark brown hair, she said.

She asked that anyone seeing a suspicious person who fits that description call Honolulu police.

A Hawaiian bracelet and a diamond ring were in her purse, as well as about $300, she said.

Robert Fields, director of Star Protection, said the company just began security at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center on Aug. 1. He said he hadn't heard about Von's assault.

Managers of the shopping center couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.

"It's obviously a very alarming event to have that happen in our little community," said attorney Steven Geshell, whose office is at 6600 Kalanianaole Highway.

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