Recent Fatal Stabbing at Mayor Wright Housing Prompts Meeting

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Sep 19 2011 09:47:53 PM HST
Updated On: Sep 19 2011 10:40:39 PM HST
HONOLULU -

Residents of a 364-unit low income housing project meet Monday to learn of a new curfew and added security measures. A mandatory meeting called by the tenants association brought families out to learn what could be done to protect themselves. Residents say they are tired of seeing outsiders come in stirring up trouble and threatening those who question what business they have in their housing project.

"They are afraid to come out. They’re afraid of retaliation. Something's got to be done," said Ene Augafa.

Earlier this month, 24-year-old TJ Mori, a father of three was stabbed to death. His attacker was 21-year-old Takson Krstoth, who now faces 2nd-degree murder charges. Although initially authorities thought the men were neighbors, the state said both were not registered as residents of the complex.

Police are frequently called to Mayor Wright by security guards and residents who don't like to see the drinking and drugs on the premises escalate into violence in their neighborhood.

"This kind of housing we need to fix. There is a commitment I believe now, to make things better, to make things right," said David Gierlach, newly appointed chair of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority.

Since the stabbing, the state has hired more security guards as a short term fix to help patrol the project perimeter. And unlike the emergency curfew the state imposed on Kuhio Valley Homes last year, the 10 p.m. rule is being called 10 o'clock "quiet time."

Denise Wise, the housing authority's executive director said the Mayor Wright stabbing incident is different from what happened at Kalihi Valley Homes, in that it a case of quickly escalating violence.

"It went from windows getting bashed, to a beating, to a stabbing, and then to guns being brought on property," said Wise.

Andrew Nakoa lost his 21 year old son in a stabbing just in front of the Mayor Wright project seven years ago.

"They wait until someone else died, and then they do something. They could have prevented this if they did something back then. The guy that did this to my son is still out there," lamented Nakoa.

There were some calls for an earlier curfew for children as well as demands for more responsive and more capable security guards. The residents are to meet again in about two weeks.

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