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Japanese tourist couple face US$50,000 medical bill after violent assault in Hawaii toilet

Japan’s consulate issues warning for tourists to avoid public bathrooms in a Honolulu park famed for its wall murals

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 June, 2018, 9:40am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 June, 2018, 8:27pm

A Japanese couple is facing US$50,000 in medical costs after being assaulted in a public restroom at a Honolulu park, a Hawaii visitors’ help organisation said.

The couple was attacked Monday at the Mother Waldron Neighbourhood Park, leading the Japanese consulate to issue a warning Tuesday for tourists to avoid public bathrooms in Kakaako, an area famed for its wall murals.

The man was hit in the face after entering the restroom, said Jessica Lani Rich, president of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii.

Hearing a noise, his wife then entered the bathroom and was choked, causing her to briefly pass out, Rich said. Honolulu police had reported the encounter to the society.

The couple came upon a group of men injecting drugs inside the bathroom, according to the consulate’s warning written in Japanese. Both the man and woman were punched in the face, leaving them with broken teeth, the warning stated.

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The warning also advised tourists and Japanese nationals living in Honolulu to be aware that they stand out in Kakaako while taking photos of themselves with Kakaako’s “wall art”.

The couple has since returned to Japan.

“It’s really sad when our visitors are assaulted when they come to Hawaii to have a wonderful, dream holiday,” Rich said.

The group has offered to solicit donations to help pay for the couple’s medical expenses, Rich said.

“Their biggest concern is their hospital expense,” Rich said.

“(Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii) does not pay hospital bills, but we are trying to do what we can to raise money.”

The city closed the park Tuesday for maintenance. The closure was announced before the attack occurred, and it’s expected to reopen next month.