KAPOLEI (KHNL) - Police need your help in tracking down a man who is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Waianae last month. It happened in broad daylight and the news has shaken up the community.
Police don't have any solid leads at this time. That's why they're turning to you. It happened at a park where not much happens and right across the street from an intermediate school.
Folks on the leeward side make Waianae District Park a popular hangout spot, and for the most part, it's pretty safe.
"We've been here probably since October," said Judy Brasel, a Waianae nurse who runs a mental health clinic at the park. "We're here from eight to two every day. Haven't seen any problems or been afraid at any time. It's been fine."
But police say on January 13, a man attacked an underage girl at the park and took advantage of her at about 3:15 in the afternoon. The suspect is described as a Polynesian man in his 30s, about six feet tall with a heavy build.
Police say it happened inside this bathroom. According to police documents, a man in his 30s forced his way into a stall and sexually assaulted a teenage girl.
"Sick, real sick that somebody can do this to girls, especially here," said Tasha Wailehua, a Waianae parent who was waiting to pick up her teenage daughter at the park. "Kids are always hanging out here."
"Are you surprised?" asked KHNL.
"Very shocking," said Wailehua.
Also in shock are students who go to Waianae Intermediate School. They come to the park to have fun and exercise some independence from their parents.
"So when that happened, I heard about it," said Tracie Tapeni, a 13-year-old eight grader at Waianae Intermediate. "I got scared and I told my parents, 'I'm sorry. I love them very much and that I would never, ever try to get away from them ever again.'"
Tapeni hopes other kids her age see this as a warning to be more aware of their surroundings.
"Don't take advantage of your parents and when they tell you it's safe to stay home and be careful, you should stay careful," she said. "And going to public places alone is not safe. Stay aware with friends and be close to each other."