Bathroom recording incidents at Ala Moana Center prompt police security message
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Officers have arrested a man accused of using his cell phone to record a teenage boy inside a bathroom stall at Ala Moana Center.
Police say it’s the second time a situation like this has happened in the mall’s public restrooms in recent months.
The latest incident happened just before 7 p.m. Tuesday. That’s when police say the 17-year-old victim noticed a man acting suspicious in the stall next to him.
According to law enforcement, the teenaged boy was using a public restroom at Ala Moana Center when he noticed someone slide what appeared to be a cell phone camera over the divider.
The victim quickly left and told his mom what happened before flagging down security.
Sources say the 37-year-old suspect was still inside the same stall when the teen returned with a security guard.
The man was detained and later arrested by Honolulu police.
“Just very concerning. Concerning because it involves a child,” said Sgt. Chris Kim, of Honolulu CrimeStoppers.
Kim said it’s the second time something like this has happened recently inside a restroom at Ala Moana Center.
“We had another case about a month or two ago where it was actually an adult victim,” he said.
“That adult victim came out and chased down the suspect. And held him down until security came.”
On Thursday morning, HNN asked the public relations firm that represents the shopping center if anything is being done to improve safety in its restrooms. So far, there’s been no response.
Meanwhile, Kim has this advice: “Pay attention.”
“It’s happening at the mall. I’m sure it’s happening a lot of other places as well,” he added.
Kim said parents should always accompany young children to the restroom.
“In the event something like this happens, if you need to scream and draw attention to yourself, go ahead and do that,” Kim said. “We understand it’s a traumatic incident but try and pay attention to what the person looks like.”
As for bystanders, Kim said, “If you go into a restroom and you to notice somebody just loitering in there let security know. Have them check it out.”
Honolulu police confirm the suspect in Tuesday’s case has been released from custody pending investigation.
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