Cyclists support UH student stabbed at Tantalus

Cyclists support UH student stabbed at Tantalus
Amir "Wasabi" Najam
Amir "Wasabi" Najam
Sau Hsu
Sau Hsu
Dirk Koeppenkastrop
Dirk Koeppenkastrop
Rheo Sibal
Rheo Sibal

TANTALUS (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two weeks after a UH Manoa student was attacked while riding up Tantalus, he returned to the crime scene. This time Amir "Wasabi" Najam, 22, wasn't alone. He was surrounded by roughly 50 other bicyclists who showed up for the "Wheels for Wasabi" ride.

"The support was so overwhelming and really helped me through the emotional shock of what happened," said Najam.

"Our sense of safety was shattered when Wasabi was stabbed. So this is a ride to say look, we're taking back our Tantalus," explained Najam's friend, Sau Hsu.

On October 9, Najam was slowly heading up on his weekly training ride. The geography major said he rode past a man who was leaning against a red Honda at one of the lookouts.

"I just hear some footsteps behind me. Obviously, someone is running and I feel like a hand on my back kind of pushing me. Then I look down and there's just a guy and he just stabs me on the side," recalled Najam.

As Najam called 911, he said his attacker drove off.

"It's random, honestly. There was no preconceived ... he didn't overtake me as far as I know. There was no road rage or anything," said Najam.

Police quickly arrived, but the suspect escaped. It's unclear what kind of weapon was used. Some residents and bike riders are concerned about crime in the area.

"People broke into our car, smashed a window, but didn't steal anything. So just kind of was pure vandalism," said Tantalus resident Dirk Koeppenkastrop.

"It looks kind of suspicious. You do smell drug usage and the people who are there just kind of stare at you," said Najam's friend Rheo Sibal.

Najam still has a small scar. The avid cyclist plans to train in other places from now on.

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