Police search for attacker in UH student’s kidnapping, robbery

Police search for attacker in UH student’s kidnapping, robbery

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police are asking for the public’s help to track down a suspect in the kidnapping and robbery of a University of Hawaii student on Wednesday night.

Police described the suspect as a “heavy-set local man” who is about 5-foot-8.

He was wearing a dark hoodie and dark pants.

Police said they did get reports of a man walking on the roadway near Makapuu on Wednesday night. It’s not clear if that man is related to the case, police said.

Waimanalo resident Lanu Tilton said she called police after seeing a suspicious man on Kalanianaole Highway near Makapuu around 7:30 p.m.

“I’m driving into Waimanalo...the next thing I see is the man flailing his arms like trying to get me to stop,” Tilton said. “I mean he’s in the road, his body like coming toward my car.”

Tilton said she did not stop and called HPD on Thursday, after hearing about the young woman’s abduction. Tilton said officers came to her house and took her statement.

Police are asking anyone who recalls seeing a 2017 gray Honda Civic (license plate TCN 175) in the east Honolulu, Waimanalo, Kaneohe or Kailua areas between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. to call police.

The incident started about 7:40 p.m. when the 22-year-old student pulled over on the side of the road after driving over a rock on Kalanianaole Highway.

Police said when the victim stopped to check her vehicle, “an unknown male forced her back into the vehicle and detained her several hours.”

About midnight, the suspect left her and her car and she was able to get help. She was later taken to a hospital for unspecified injuries.

Officers searched the area but were not able to find the suspect.

A friend of the woman was on the phone with her when the kidnapping happened.

“I heard the voice of a man say, ‘This is a robbery’ or ‘you’re being robbed.’ Something in that general mind. I called the police," the friend said.

He tried to call her back but the phone either rung without anyone answering or went to voicemail.

In the wake of the incident, police urged drivers who have car trouble to drive to a well-lit, populated area if at all possible before stopping.

“If the car cannot be driven, stay in the vehicle, lock the doors, call 911, and wait for a uniformed officer to arrive,” police said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or police at 911.

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