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Residents, visitors on edge after beach stabbing

By Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 7:59 a.m. HST, Nov 1, 2012

Beachgoers expressed shock and issued calls for a greater police presence after a 48-year-old woman was stabbed at Diamond Head Beach early Wednesday.

"We surf here a lot, and I've always felt safe until the last couple of years when I've seen a couple of tents and seen and smelled them building fires," said surfer Laarni Gedo, 34. "I've had my car broken into at least twice in the last couple of years.

"I want the cops to be more present in the area and at least get them out," she said.

Police said a man tried to take the woman's property at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. After a struggle, the man stabbed the woman with a dangerous instrument, police said. The woman screamed and the suspect ran off.

A bystander, who tended to the woman, gave a description of the suspect to police. Other beachgoers saw a man earlier begging for food and money who fit that description, police said.

The woman was taken to a hospital just after 7 a.m. in serious condition, according to the Department of Emergency Services. Police said she suffered up to five possible stab wounds to her body.

KHON-TV reported that the woman was a visitor from Europe who had been camping on the beach with a male traveling companion.

Steve DeMesa, 57, of Makiki said, "This place has the components for something like that to happen. It's pretty isolated. It's not a safe place, especially for a woman."

The beach is at the bottom of steep cliffs.

Trudy Tanner, 53, and husband, John, 50, visiting from Portsmouth, England, were walking Wednesday afternoon from Black Point to Diamond Head Beach Park.

"As we've come along this end, this looks like the rougher end," she said. "There's litter everywhere and graffiti. It's definitely not the best place to be walking."

She did feel uneasy after learning about the stabbing. "I won't be talking to any strange men," she said.

Surfer Aileen Young, 43, said, "It doesn't really bother me."

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