Victim of savage beating in Waikiki seeks justice

Jonathan Easterling
Jonathan Easterling

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Kailua resident who was assaulted by a group of men in Waikiki over the weekend says he can't stop thinking about what could have happened if his assailants didn't stop beating him when they did.

He hopes that someone who knows about the attack can lead police to the third, and final, suspect.

Normally an active 21-year-old, Jonathan Easterling struggled to get around his hospital room at The Queen's Medical Center after the vicious beating.

"I'm sitting here with this tube coming out of my ribs," he said. "It's a bad situation."

In addition to three cracked ribs and a collapsed lung, he has half a dozen staples holding together the large gash on his head.

"It was like three bigger guys just on top of him," Kylene Scott, victim's girlfriend, recalled. "He was like blacked out on the ground and they just kept beating on him."

The attack happened outside Senor Frog's on Kalakaua Avenue just after midnight Saturday. Easterling says it started after he exchanged words with another customer who had approached his girlfriend.

"Him and I ended up having a verbal altercation," he said. "Then he walks one way, I walk another way. It turns out that when he walked his way, he was calling his friends that were up still at Senor Frog's."

After the men rushed him, Scott says she jumped in and covered her battered boyfriend with her body.

"That's when they kind of backed off, after I got on top of him," she said. "I was holding him and it was bad because there was blood everywhere. I thought he died."

Police told the victim they made two arrests. One suspect is still at large.

"It's been a real stressful situation for me, especially not knowing who that other person was and knowing that they can just be going out looking for the same thing," Easterling said. "Something could happen to somebody else."

The victim says the savage assault, which unfolded in front of several bystanders, makes Hawaii look bad.

"You're a tourist in Waikiki or you're a local in Waikiki, that kind of stuff can't be happening," he said. "I mean, basically, we live in paradise and it's such a beautiful place. Why do we need to be putting people in these kinds of situations?"

Easterling says he had one beer at Senor Frog's, and a six-pack at a friend's barbeque hours before that. He says he did nothing to trigger that type of violent response.

"I wasn't like drunk or belligerent," he said. "It wasn't instigating the situation. It was just wrong place, wrong time, wrong words, wrong person."

If you have any information about this case, call Honolulu police.

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