HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Witness accounts and security camera video provide new details on why last week’s Moanalua Gardens purse snatching is an attempted murder investigation.
On Tuesday, police released a sketch of one the suspects ― a 28- to 35-year old dark-skinned man ― who was seen wearing a white shirt and dark pants at the park on Thursday.
They are also searching for a second suspect, possibly a female, who drove the getaway truck.
A taxi driver named Jun saw the incident unfold, and told Hawaii News Now that he was waiting in the garden’s parking lot for a customer when the first suspect approached him.
“He asked me to give him a ride. I said I can’t do it now because I’m waiting for a customer," said Jun.
Moments later, Jun said the suspect opened his door, grabbed money from a seat, then ran toward the waiting truck.
On the way, he snatches the purse from one of the driver’s customers, a tourist from Japan.
“The woman whose bag was stolen tried to stop them and tried to get in front of them, the car accelerated ... hit her and escaped," he said.
Security camera video reviewed by Hawaii News Now shows the truck bouncing as it runs over the victim’s legs. It also shows that the driver didn’t try to avoid her.
The woman’s legs were badly injured.
She has since been released from the hospital and returned to Japan.
According to Jun, he also tried to help the woman and ran toward the truck. He said he broke off one of the truck’s side mirrors so police could find the suspects easily.
Police have not announced an arrest in the case yet. But sources say they’re looking into whether several people arrested last week at Ala Moana Beach Park are connected.
Moanalua Gardens, which attracts more than 300,000 Japanese tourists a year, said it now plans to install more security camera equipment.