HONOLULU (KHON2) — A security guard is fighting for his life after being attacked while on the job Tuesday night in downtown Honolulu. This latest incident is raising concerns among those who work in the area.
Michael Stubbs, 58, was working security at Pioneer Plaza at around 5:30 p.m. when he was hit in the head with a water flask. His son said he doesn’t understand why anyone would do that.
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According to a witness, Stubbs was trying to get the suspect to leave the area.
The 32-year-old suspect was arrested for attempted murder and several bench warrants. Court records also show he has four felony drug convictions.
Those who live and work in the area said the homeless population has grown and they’ve become more violent recently.
“During the pandemic, it got worse and it’s getting worse right now,” said Fred White, who’s lived near Fort Street Mall for more than two decades. “Some poor security guy trying to do his job, he (suspect) knocks him out. It’s terrible.”
When KHON2 asked White if he felt safe in the area he responded “no I don’t. I don’t at all.”
Fort Street Mall falls within the boundaries of the city’s Weed and Seed program to prevent crime.
Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced the program about two months ago. He said it is working.
“We’ve been arresting people now for quite some time in the Chinatown area in the Fort Street Mall area. And we’ve been, praised consistently for the tremendous change in what’s going on,” said Blangiardi. “So that’s what I’ll say, Is it perfect? No. But I think we’re overcoming decades of neglect here and trying to do it in short order. So I stand by that.”
Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, president of the Chinatown Business & Community Association, said she does see a difference in Chinatown, but more needs to be done.
“We need new cameras and we need to empower, with funding, a permanent program for police on foot and not just volunteer,” explained Shubert-Kwock.
The mayor said they are doing everything in their power to eliminate crime.
“I believe that is the right of every citizen to be able to feel safe,” said Blangiardi. “I hate it when things like this happen. But stuff like that does happen. And we’re going to look to prevent it.”
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The prosecutor’s office declined to comment since the investigation into the attempted murder case is ongoing.