After frightening encounter with homeless, city workers demand more security

After frightening encounter with homeless, city workers demand more security
Updated: Mar. 23, 2017 at 10:23 PM HST
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(Image: HPD)
(Image: HPD)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A scary encounter involving two female city workers and a homeless man is highlighting the need for increased security at Honolulu Hale.

Shaky cell phone video captured the final seconds of the encounter.

"I heard yelling from this direction.  I thought it was just an irate person.  As I got to my car door my co-worker said get in! Lock your door," Radiant Cordero, one of the workers, said.

The encounter happened at noon on Tuesday. Cordero and her coworker had just stepped out of their office at Honolulu Hale and headed for the Fasi Municipal Parking Structure to grab a bite to eat.

"I thought he was drunk or on drugs. I didn't think he would really come that close to us," said Lei Ishii.

Police identified the man as Robert Glenn Hall.  In the video, Hall is seen shirtless, punching the passenger side window of a car as the two women try to exit a parking space in the garage.

The women said Hall slammed his hands down on the hood -- trapping them in their parking space -- before making his way to the passenger side door.

"When he was trying to knock we were telling him No! No!," said Cordero.

Ishii grabbed her phone to snap a picture for police.  Hall punched the window just before they escaped.

The video helped officers identify Hall and he was arrested minutes later. Records show the 50-year-old was released from jail two weeks ago.

Hall has a history of mental illness and addiction.

"There's more run-ins now with our city employees.  And there's more incident reports being generated," said Councilman Joey Manahan.

According to staff members there have been reports of homeless people exposing themselves to workers on the civic center grounds.  There was also a report of homeless campers yelling racial slurs at a worker who was walking to the parking structure.

Councilman Manahan said the run-in with Hall has prompted talk of hiring an additional security guard.  But he says that likely wont happen for several months.

Meantime the women say they're a lot more cautious when they head out.  They say they hope the city will do what's right to keep them safe.

"I want someone.  A presence. Police patrolling the area.  That way I know there is somebody I can run to or call if something like this happens again," said Ishii.

HPD said Hall was charged with two counts of harassment and a contempt warrant.

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