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Tourist attacked by homeless man at Waikiki beach, advocate says

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Waikiki visitors lounge on the sands of Kuhio Beach in 2017. An Arizona tourist, who was visiting Oahu to celebrate her 28th birthday, was allegedly attacked Sunday by a homeless man near the Waikiki police substation at Kuhio Beach.

An Arizona tourist, who was visiting Oahu to celebrate her 28th birthday, was attacked Sunday afternoon by a homeless man near the Waikiki police substation at Kuhio Beach, a victim’s advocate said.

Jessica Lani Rich, president and CEO of the Visitor Aloha Society, said the woman tried to intervene when she saw a younger homeless man yelling at an older homeless man and throwing his belongings into the street.

“She said, ‘Don’t do that, you aren’t being nice,’” Rich said. “The younger homeless man yelled a vulgarity and then punched her in the face a couple of times. She became unconscious and was taken to The Queen’s Medical Center, where she was treated for a concussion and bruising.”

Rich said police have made an arrest in the incident, which happened at about 3:30 p.m. on a busy stretch of beach.

“She is a very sweet lady who was trying to help. She didn’t deserve this,” she said.

The attack is the latest in a string of daytime attacks on evidently innocent victims.

Last week police asked for the public’s help in finding a man who assaulted a woman at Ala Moana Beach Park at about 4:30 p.m. June 29.

Police said a 27-year-old woman was sitting on the beach near lifeguard tower 1C when she heard a man yelling. The man stared at her when she looked at him, then walked up to her and hit her on the face.

The woman was knocked unconscious and sustained severe injuries to her face. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the victim here. The suspect remains at large.

On May 28, a Japanese couple trying to use a bathroom at Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park in Kakaako was attacked in midday by a Kaneohe man. The victims were punched in the face, and the couple faced about $50,000 in medical costs.

The suspect has since been charged with assault in connection with the attack.

Mother Waldron had an influx of homeless people at the time after they were forced from Kakaako Waterfront Park in sweeps.

On March 21, a 25-year-old woman was attacked by a stranger with a box cutter in Waikiki, according to court documents.

The stranger, Andrew Peppers, was yelling at random while walking on Kalakaua Avenue near Lewers Street at about 1:30 p.m. when he approached the woman, put her in a chokehold, and held a box cutter to her neck, the documents said.

The woman protected her neck with her hands when Peppers tried to slash her and was able to break away from him, but sustained deep lacerations to her hand and abrasions to her neck and chin.

Police arrested Peppers nearby.

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