Questions about public safety are emerging after a woman told police that a man exposed himself on a city bus.
Cika Afoa has been riding the bus for years, and says she has never experienced anything like what happened Wednesday morning.
She tells us that the man was just two seats away from her when he exposed himself while staring at her.
“It completely bothers me. It’s completely disgusting, and I just feel violated in so many ways,” Afoa said.
Afoa took video of the suspect and says she then moved to the front of the bus to tell the driver.
“I told the bus driver, but by the time the bus driver and myself turned around, he was already out of the bus,” she said.
It didn’t end there. Afoa adds that the suspect must have gotten back on the bus somehow, because when she reached her stop, he got out the same time she did and confronted her.
“He grabbed my arm like really hard, and was forcing me towards him, and this happened all in the middle of the road. I stood my ground in the middle of the road, because I wanted people to know if cars came, I wanted them to stop,” she said.
Afoa says the man ran away after she threatened to call police. Police say the suspect has not been caught.
Afoa says she isn’t just worried about herself, but about the safety of other passengers.
The Honolulu Police Department is investigating the case as fourth-degree sex assault.
We’ve reported on previous sex assault cases on TheBus before, so we reached out to officials for comment.
They said no one was available to talk to us on camera, but we’re pressing them for answers on how many times a crime has been reported on TheBus and what’s being done about it.
On the phone, Roger Morton, president of Oahu Transit Services, which operates TheBus, said riders are encouraged to tell the driver immediately if anything happens. The driver can then contact the dispatch center and then call police.
Morton adds that in this case, the driver was not notified, though when we double-checked with Afoa, she said she did. She’s concerned about more of these types of incidents happening in the future.
“I don’t think the public should have that fear of getting on TheBus knowing that they’re going to be followed or they’re going to be violated in any kind of way that I just did. I just want to bring this awareness to people because no one deserves to have this happen to them,” she said.
Oahu Transit Services says KHON2 has to get approval from the city to get statistics on how many crimes have occurred on TheBus.
But a spokesman for the mayor’s office tells us the information is not available.