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Recent homicides highlight dangers faced by homeless

January 21, 2014
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Recent killings of five men highlight how dangerous it can be to live on Honolulu's streets, said the state's coordinator on homelessness.

Colin Kippen said there needs to be permanent housing and more affordable housing for the needy. "We've got to figure out how to do more than just move people from sidewalk to sidewalk," he said.

Police are investigating the deaths of five Oahu homeless men in the past six months. The most recent death was a stabbing Jan. 13 of a man sleeping near a Kailua restaurant. Police are asking the public for help locating a suspect. The victim's name has not been officially released by police.

Anthony Montero, 62, was killed Dec. 27. He was reportedly attacked by a group of teenagers. A 16-year-old is charged with second-degree murder.

Mamer "Eddie" Semana, 83, died Dec. 5 after he was found unconscious in Chinatown with head injuries. R.J. Marsolo, 18, was charged with second-degree murder and third-degree assault. The medical examiner's office said he died from blunt force injuries to his head.

Lynn Riley, 49, was killed Oct. 1 in Aala Park. The medical examiner's office said Riley died of blunt-force injury from an assault. Ronald Page, 58, who was also homeless, was charged with second-degree murder.

Robert Coleman Jr., 48, died after he was stabbed at Kailua District Park on July 12. Brian Kim, 58, also homeless, was charged with second-degree murder.

Kippen said a $2.1 million federal grant recently awarded to the state Department of Health should help provide additional case management services for the chronically homeless with disabilities and help to get more people off the streets.

A homeless count last year found about 3,000 people in shelters and nearly 1,500 without shelter on Oahu.



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