By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer
Police yesterday were looking for two gunmen who tied up a tourist from Japan with duct tape and robbed her at gunpoint in her hotel room Sunday night.
It began about 10 p.m. Sunday night, when the woman passed two men in a hallway as she was going to her Waikiki hotel room.
She entered her room and heard a knock on the door. Thinking it was her roommate, the woman opened the door and was overwhelmed by the two men, police said.
One of the men pulled out a gun, forced the woman into the bathroom and bound her hands and feet with duct tape. He put a piece of duct tape across the woman's mouth and pointed a gun at her while the other man searched the room, police said.
While the men were inside, her roommate came home and knocked on the door. The men were silent and did not respond, police said. Hearing nothing, the roommate went downstairs to get another key to the room.
The men fled. The woman managed to get to the phone and called the hotel operator. The operator called police, then ran up to the woman's room and found her. She was not sexually assaulted, police said, and it is unclear what the men took.
The woman left yesterday on an 8:30 a.m. flight to Japan and did not have time to work with police to develop a sketch of the men, police said.
During the first half of 2005, 31 violent crimes had been committed against visitors on O'ahu, according to the city prosecutor's office. Of those, 11 were robberies, one was a terroristic threatening case, three were sexual assaults, and 16 were assaults.
Mari McCaig, coordinator of the visitor assistance program for the prosecutor's office, said violent crimes against tourists such as Sunday's incident are an "aberration."
"I think relative to other tourist destinations, Hawai'i is very safe," McCaig said.
Jessica Rich, president of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai'i, said only a small percentage of tourists fall victim to crime.
"For the most part, Waikiki has been safe for tourists, but what ... tourists have to understand is they have to exercise a certain amount of caution like they would in any other city," Rich said.
Reach Peter Boylan at email@example.com.