Parkgoers express concerns about vandalism and illegal activity in Oahu’s public restrooms

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — A recent spate of serious vandalism at city parks has some parkgoers becoming more concerned about their safety.

Last week, vandals destroyed toilets in Pokai Bay Beach Park’s bathroom. This caused a serious flooding and plumbing problem in the public toilet and even caused the shower to become inoperable.

The city quickly resolved the issue and repaired the facility, but many people say such problems are a symptom of a larger problem.

“You’re in pretty bad shape. Because the homeless, as you know, used it as their place to shower and camp and do all their necessities I guess. So it’s pretty gross in there,” said Terry Kakazu, who frequently visits Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park.

Others say homeless activity in park public toilets is forcing them to reconsider letting their children use the facilities alone.

“We can’t even allow them to go to the bathroom to change or go to the toilet. At the last practice at Ala Wai Park, there was someone sitting there smoking ice cream with a giant torch in the middle of the bathroom,” said Erich Wida, a trainer who says he’s tired of such problems in public parks.

Nate Serota, spokesman for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, says park managers are aware of these issues and are constantly working to improve conditions — but they need the public’s help.

“These parks belong to all of us and we want to instill a sense of pride and ownership in these communities so they can feel safe to take care of these places and to report serious issues when they arise. In the event of criminal activity, we always encourage park users to call the police immediately and contact the responding officers,” Serota said.

The best way to report problems in public parks is to use the 311 App or email [email protected] or [email protected]

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