Another Security Scare at UH Manoa Dorms

Gregg Takayama
Gregg Takayama

MANOA (KHNL) -- She's in the shower, when she notices a man taking pictures of her. It's the latest in a string of security scares at the University of Hawaii Manoa dorms.

Melissa Horimoto heads to class, moments after learning about a frightening incident at her dorm, Hale Kahawai.

"It's just really scary to me," she said.

A 19-year-old student says she was taking a shower at about 6 am, when she saw a stranger taking pictures of her using a cell phone camera.

"He was chased by some of the residents in the building who saw him and heard the screaming," Gregg Takayama, UH spokesperson, said. "Unfortunately, they lost him."

"It makes me feel really scared because like I know that the doors are always locked," Horimoto said. "So it's kind of like how did he get in?"

The main door to the residence hall is locked, but the bathroom doors are not. The university says it will increase security by installing locks on all bathroom doors, starting on the women's floors.

"For years, those who have worked as staff members did not recall any incident like this occurring," Takayama said. "There have been no security problems there."

The suspect is believed to be in his 20s. He's about 5'8" tall, and weighs about 160 to 180 lbs. He had black, crew-cut hair and brown eyes.

Just five days ago, police rushed to another dorm to arrest a man accused of stealing items, including women's underwear, from a room.

The cases have Horimoto on edge.

"Before, my roommate and I would just leave it open if we were just going to go down the hall to the bathroom," she said. "And now, I just know I just make sure it's locked all the time."

The university says it has a staff of about 40 security officers covering the 300-acre Manoa campus. UH officials plan to ask the Legislature for about $1 million to add 25 campus security officers.