A terrifying attack that left a Kalihi woman with stab wounds in her neck could now leave her without a home.
Her daughter contacted KHON2 after the landlord served an eviction notice two days after the attack.
Danita Mendez, 57, was attacked inside her own home Wednesday night at Kam IV Apartments. She remains in the hospital recovering from three stab wounds to the neck. Her face is covered with cuts and bruises.
According to her daughter, Natasha Saloricman, Mendez had just done the laundry and went back up to her apartment.
Saloricman told KHON2 Mendez didn’t know her attacker, but did let her in because she had asked to use the bathroom.
“Had your mom let her in her apartment before?” KHON2 asked.
“No. This would be the first time,” Saloricman said. “I’ve asked my mom. She said no, this is the first time.”
“So there were never any conversations prior?” KHON2 asked.
“There were no conversations,” she said. “She wouldn’t talk to the lady, because she knew the lady was not well.”
Police say the suspect then tried to set Mendez’s apartment on fire.
“Her couch was the one set on fire,” Saloricman said. “From what my mom told me, she used a lighter. She set the couch on fire.”
That night Honolulu police arrested Mavourneen Rombawa, 36, and charged her two days later with attempted murder, kidnapping, arson and terroristic threatening.
Saloricman said that her mom has never seen Rombawa before, so she has no idea why she would commit such a violent act.
As if things weren’t bad enough, when her daughter went to the apartment to clean up, she saw an eviction notice posted on the door.
The document refers to a clause in the rental agreement that if she or any guests cause damage to the property, the landlord can terminate the rental agreement.
“I’m shocked. I expected to go there and open the door and start cleaning my mom’s house,” Saloricman said. “This is not her guest. She’s a victim so this is not right.”
KHON2 asked real estate attorney Ryan Engle if a landlord can actually consider the attacker as a guest and make Mendez liable.
“It would be hard to say under the law that somebody who would break into premises and do you physical harm would be considered a guest, because by definition, you didn’t invite them there,” he said. “It wasn’t a consensual relationship and they took it upon themselves to do that.”
KHON2 contacted the management company, which referred us to its regional office in California. We have not heard back.
We also contacted the landlord’s attorney, but again, have not heard back.