Two unprovoked stabbings in Waikiki lead to calls for more police presence

Local News
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KHON2 is learning more about a stabbing that happened Tuesday night in Waikiki.

It’s the second stabbing in the area in just over a week.

Police sources tell us a 28-year-old man was stabbed in the neck on Jan. 31 by a stranger. It happened on Kalakaua Avenue. The suspect took off, but was arrested.

According to police sources, three people were sitting on a bench outside Coco Cove when they noticed someone acting strange.

Sources say when they got up to leave, the suspect, identified as Cedar Chavarria, stabbed a 28-year-old man in the neck with a 10-inch knife. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Witnesses say the attack was unprovoked.

Now we’re digging deeper into crime in Honolulu’s major tourist hub.

Last week, KHON2 reported about another unprovoked attack in Waikiki in which a hotel worker was wounded by a man wielding a ninja sword.

Waikiki neighborhood board member Jeff Merz says events like these are unnerving, but he’s not shocked.

“I’ve lived in cities my whole life, and you can tell if in certain intersections or neighborhoods, there is something going on or something doesn’t look right. There’s a lot of times in Waikiki when I get that sense walking down the street,” Merz said.

The Honolulu Police Department says there were 190 thefts, 16 burglaries, and 29 assaults in Waikiki during December 2016.

City councilmember Trevor Ozawa says he’d like to see those numbers come down. “It’s about having a discussion with the police at this point, and seeing even from the business owners in the area and the residents, what can we do to help make them feel safe,” he said.

Officers patrol Waikiki four different ways: cars, bikes, ATVs, and traditional foot patrol.

Merz said the police presence in Waikiki has been brought up in neighborhood board meetings and questioned if more officers are needed.

“With the police, we want boots on the ground all over Waikiki, 24 hours a day, and we think that would make a huge difference,” he said. “We haven’t seen that. I’ve never seen that in my 14 years living in Waikiki.”

Ozawa says he’s looking into introducing legislation that would create a police force that would patrol places like Ala Moana Beach Park and Kapiolani Park, just outside of Waikiki.

“We need to make sure that we don’t have any of those violent crimes, because we have to keep Honolulu one of the safest cites in America,” he said.

Charravia, the suspect in the Jan. 31 stabbing, was charged with attempted murder. His bail is set at $100,000 and he remains behind bars.

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