HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A bloody attack in Waipahu highlights the challenges facing a new city program that provides emergency housing to the homeless.
Sources say the program took in a man with violent past ― and now that man is accused of attempted murder.
Franklin Houser arrived in Hawaii from the mainland just a few weeks ago.
Now the 39-year-old is accused of repeatedly stabbing his girlfriend during an argument Tuesday outside Times Supermarket on Hikimoe Street.
“Someone yelled ‘Stabbing! Stabbing!’” said witness Mercedes Soriano. “She was laying on the walkway.”
Another woman who asked not to be identified says she rushed over to help the 40-year-old victim.
“She was bleeding really bad,” she said. “She was just really scared. She was in pain. One girl was putting pressure on it (her wounds). I told her don’t let go. Just keep pushing.”
Police sources say the couple had been staying at the city’s new mobile homeless shelter called HONU at Waipahu Cultural Garden Park, and that Houser had recently been kicked out for breaking the rules.
Houser is also suspected of slashing the tent he’d been staying in. It’s since been patched.
Before arriving in Hawaii, Houser had been in trouble on the mainland with a long list of prior arrests dating back to 1999 ― starting in North Carolina for drug trafficking, DUI and making threats.
Then over 15 years in Tennessee, court documents show, he was arrested for theft, aggravated burglary, assault, domestic violence, being drunk in public, credit card and identity theft.
Houser currently has a warrant for probation violation.
Witnesses to Tuesday’s attack say they’re fed up with having to deal with drug addicts and others in the neighborhood ― and the drama that comes with them.
“They make trouble. They ask people for money and become angry when you don’t give them money," said the woman who asked to remain anonymous.
“We have people jumping on the window banging. We call police and they don’t show up. They think it’s normal. It’s not normal. It’s dangerous.”
The victim is recovering from multiple stab wounds to her chest and arm.