EWA BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ian Kahaloa graduated from James Campbell High School as State Baseball Player of the Year. He's signed with a major league baseball team. Kahaloa was at Nimitz Beach in Kalaeloa at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday to watch the sunrise with a friend Sunday when he was assaulted and robbed by at least five young men.
"I guess my friend said this guy was saying that they wanted to fight and stuff," said Kahaloa. "So I actually got in my car like nothing happened, and then they came to my car and just opened it up and started punching me."
Kahaloa was the ace pitcher for Campbell and was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the fifth round this year. He now sports two black eyes and a busted lip after the assault, which he says lasted about five minutes.
Kahaloa said he was with a female friend when he saw other people at the beach.
"I thought they were just another group just cruising, having fun by themselves," he said. "I wasn't doing anything. I was just minding my own business."
Kahaloa said he went to his truck. That's when the attack began.
"I couldn't do anything because they had more than five and I just stayed in my car," said Kahaloa. "I can't do anything because I have a career, and I can't jeopardize that."
Kahaloa's female companion was not assaulted or robbed. Honolulu Police have opened a second-degree robbery investigation.
Kahaloa is currently pitching with the Reds' minor league team in Arizona. And up until now, whenever he's been on the mound, he's worn a gold necklace with a cross beneath his uniform. It was given to him by his grandmother, Maria Valderama, who died Oct. 18.
"She gave it to me and said you wear it before every game that you pitch," said Kahaloa. "It's good luck. So I wear it every single day."
The necklace was among the things taken, along with Kahaloa's watch and iPhone. To the 18-year-old possible major leaguer, it's the most valuable thing that was taken from him.
"You know, it's something that really means a lot to me," he said. "Just return the necklace if anything. I just need that real bad."