Soccer players attacked by wanted man with a knife in Waikiki

Soccer players attacked by wanted man with a knife in Waikiki
Amir Rassas
Amir Rassas
Kalakaua Park in Waikiki
Kalakaua Park in Waikiki

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A wanted man, who has been arrested dozens of times, is back behind bars after an alleged attack on soccer players in Waikiki Saturday night.

Amir Rassas, 21, said what seemed to be an innocent, harmless game of soccer at Kalakaua Park turned into a death threat for him and his cousin. Now, Rassas fears Waikiki isn't safe and wants others to know what happened to him.

"We were playing over here and he was lying over there," Rassas said.

Rassas and his cousin were playing soccer around 10:30 p.m. when Rassas said a homeless man accused them of disrupting his sleep.

"There was a homeless guy...he was lying down behind the rocks. He said we were irritating him in public property.  He didn't like it that we were playing soccer, so he just attacked us with a knife," said Rassas.

Rassas said Gerardo Salvador, 54, pulled out a knife with a four-inch blade and came within four feet of him.

"He kept moving with the knife pointed at me. This is really bad, so I kept going back, back and he's going forward to me. Just by luck, there were police officers," he said.

Rassas said he flagged down the officer and told him what happened.

"When I pulled over the police officer in the middle of the street, 'Oh! Somebody's attacking me with a knife!' Two minutes, more than 12 cops surrounded him and arrested him."

Salvador was arrested for two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening and multiple outstanding warrants.

Turns out Salvador has been arrested 65 times, according to police sources. Crimes such as assaults, disorderly conduct, and theft are found on his criminal record.

Rassas said he wants to press charges.

"Yeah, I really wanted to do that, not for myself or to revenge him or something like, no, no...but what about other people, could happen to them, especially tourists," he said.

Rassas said he feels good about getting one less criminal off of the streets.

Of the 65 prior arrests, most of them are misdemeanors, which is why Salvador is let back onto the streets. His criminal record shows he only has one felony conviction for theft in 1999, in which he was sentenced to five years of confinement.  His most recent arrest was for assault in May of 2015, in which he was sentenced to 13 days in jail.

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