HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 59-year-old homeless man is clinging to life after family members say he was nearly beaten to death with a steel pipe. They say officials tell them he's by expected to make it through the night.
The brutal attack happened Wednesday night in an area where a handful of homeless live alongside the road near the roundabout to Haleiwa and Waialua off of Kamehameha Highway. A friend of the victim says he found him laying outside his tent, covered in blood and unable to speak. The friend says he managed to pull the victim into a wheelchair, which he pushed down to a nearby gas station where he flagged down an ambulance for help.
Family members say they weren't notified until Thursday that the 59-year-old had been rushed to Wahiawa General. They say officials told them even though he had an ID with him, his face was so unrecognizable they couldn't make a positive match.
Friends and family members of the victim say he is a nice man who struggled with alcoholism but isn't violent and kept to himself.
Honolulu police officers were on the scene gathering evidence all day. Detectives are currently handling this as an assault, but are prepared to open up a homicide investigation if the victim doesn't survive.