Victim in Waikiki box-cutter attack shaken, grateful to those who helped her

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A 49-year-old man was arrested for attempted murder after he allegedly attacked a woman in Waikiki.

It happened at around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday on the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and Lewers Street.

The victim, Althea Gatto, needed stitches and has a tear in one of the tendons in her right hand.

The 25-year-old accountant moved to Hawaii three years ago from Chicago and has called Waikiki home ever since.

She’s still rattled by the attack that happened during her lunch break while she was at work.

“It was just a surreal moment,” Gatto said.

Gatto was sitting on the benches in front of Longs Drugs when she saw her would-be attacker walking down the street yelling at people.

That’s when she said he turned his attention on her.

“He came up and started yelling at me, and then he wrapped his arm around me and started to choke me,” Gatto said.

Police said the suspect was armed with a box-cutter.

“I was trying to pull him off of me, just calling for help,” Gatto said. “A tourist from Alaska ended up pushing him off me.” 

Witnesses said the attacker got up and walked away, leaving the box-cutter behind.

Gatto was in shock and didn’t even know she was injured.

“I just realized afterwards that my hands were cut up,” Gatto said.

The entire experience has her shaken up.

“I’m trying to not let is scare me, but I’m definitely more aware of my surroundings,” Gatto said.

One thing she is definitely grateful for the people who helped her.

“I feel very fortunate that for every bad guy, there’s 10 more good guys,” Gatto said.

Stephanie Kaji works in Waikiki and witnessed the attack

“It was pretty scary,” she said. “It happened in the middle of the day, and a lot of people were around.  I’m glad there are a lot of people who were there to kind of make her feel safe.”

The suspect ran but was found about 30 minutes later.

Honolulu police identified the suspect as Andrew Davis, 49.

Davis was arrested for attempted murder and two outstanding warrants.

He has not been charged.

The incident remains under investigation.

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