Suspect charged with sexually assaulting 7 women on city bus
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 60-year-old man has been charged after he allegedly sexually assaulted seven women on the same city bus on Monday afternoon.
Police identified the suspect as Valentino McLeod.
He was charged with seven counts of fourth-degree sex assault.
Law enforcement sources said all of the incidents happened within a half hour of each other.
The women McLeod allegedly targeted were in their early 20s and all within a few feet of one another.
“The bus was on Route 20, which operates between Pearl Ridge, the airport and Waikiki,” said Honolulu Department of Transportation Services Deputy Director Jon Nouchi.
The first assault is said to have happened about 3:30 p.m. Monday while the bus was near Nimitz Highway and Peltier Avenue. According to law enforcement sources, McLeod is accused of standing behind each of the women and repeatedly pushing his privates against them.
The 60-year-old was clothed at the time.
“Other passengers saw what was going on and took that opportunity to alert the bus driver who immediately stalled the bus and requested assistance,” Nouchi said. “Additionally we believe one of the victims did hop off the bus, remove themselves from the situation and also called 911.”
Sex assault survivors’ advocate Tammy Bitanga said the incident is alarming and a wake-up call.
She said in order to stay safe in a similar situation, you need to assess the situation.
“There is a camera, there is a bus driver, there are other riders,” she said. “In that situation I would say yes get loud. Call him out on it.”
Children should alert an adult and always report sex assaults to the police.
Bitanga said, “It’s their duty to get these people off the street that are offending and hurting people but if you don’t say anything they have no ammunition. They can’t do their job.”
HNN confirmed McLeod struggled with police as they arrested him just after 4 p.m. Monday at the bus stop near the corner of Bethel and South King streets.
He remains behind bars and a judge has set his bail at $14,000.
“We live in crazy times right now. So it really is incumbent on everyone. Be responsible for the person sitting next to you,” said Nouchi. “If you see something. Say something.”
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