State Rep. Tom Brower says he will make an announcement early next week pertaining to whether he will press charges against two homeless teenagers who allegedly attacked him last month near an homeless encampment in Kakaako.
Brower told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Tuesday that he spoke with police about the attack and has made a decision regarding whether to press charges but wants time to prepare a statement.
The incident, which left Brower with a head injury and laceration above his eye, is one of several recent violent attacks allegedly involving residents of a homeless camp near Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center that has swelled to about 200 tents.
Most recently, a homeless man was robbed by a gang wielding a metal pipe and a knife at about 11 a.m. Friday, court records say. The victim suffered cuts to his forehead, lip and forearm as well as scrapes to his knees and bruises and welts to his head from the attack at the intersection of Ohe and Ilalo streets.
According to a police affidavit, two teens approached the victim and asked to “sample” his bicycle, then attempted to take the bike when the victim declined. The victim told police that additional teens joined in, and someone with a metal pipe beat him while another cut him several times with a knife. The group eventually took the victim’s bicycle.
Minutes later an officer found suspect Filipo Faumuina, 22, shirtless and sweating heavily, walking away from the intersection.
The victim identified Faumuina as the man who asked to “sample” the bike and beat him with a metal pipe. Faumuina was arrested for investigation of robbery and nine warrants and charged Saturday with first-degree robbery. He is being held on $30,000 bail and has a preliminary hearing Wednesday. A source said both Faumuina and the victim live in the encampment.
In a separate incident at about 6 p.m. July 12, a 16-year-old girl approached a 41-year-old woman who was practicing Korean drumming at a Kakaako park and punched her several times in the face while attempting to take the woman’s $3,500 leather backpack, police said.
The girl ran away after a witness began honking her horn, but officers found the girl and arrested her for investigation of second-degree robbery.
Police said the girl was living at the homeless encampment.
In Brower’s June 29 attack, he was taking photos about a block from the nearest tents when a male on a skateboard intentionally rode into him and a second person began punching him. Brower said a group followed him as he ran toward the Discovery Center and was tackled again.
The attorney general’s office began an investigation but turned the case over to Honolulu police last week, a police spokeswoman said. Police opened misdemeanor assault and theft cases and are investigating, she said.
Brower said, “The last few years that I’ve been in that area, I gladly walked in the street because the tents are on the sidewalk, but when I return, I don’t plan to have to walk in the street again.” He added, “The sidewalks need to be cleared.”