HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A popular Honolulu nightclub is under investigation after complaints that its bouncers assaulted several customers in an altercation late last month.
Five customers who were seriously injured agreed to go public about the incident at M Nightclub at Waterfront Plaza, saying they don't feel investigators have taken the case seriously.
Video of the incident on January 31 shows bouncers holding patron Chase Aki by the neck as witnesses screamed for them to stop.
"I have like flash memories of being held down to the ground and then getting held down to the ground and choked out," Aki said.
Army Spc. Joshua Keenan tried to intervene.
"What really just brought it over the top was the guy who came around and kicked him in the face, really hard too, you could hear it," Keenan said. "That's when I started coming in, 'That's not right, you shouldn't be doing that.' That's when one of the bouncers started to push me, push me out the door, try to like get me out while this dude is getting beat up."
Keenan says he struck a bouncer in self-defense, and was then targeted by several bouncers.
"I hit one of the bouncers because he was all in my face and I was scared what was gonna happen next. So after that, they threw me to the ground, and proceeded to punch me, kick me, and then stand over me, and then punch me again," Keenan said.
At the same time Aki's friend, Patrick Mahuka Cullen, was lying outside and bleeding profusely from the head. Their designated driver Keala Kubo tried to use her skills as a registered nurse.
"Patrick was in and out of consciousness so I was just trying to talk to him. And then he would say … it wasn't even words it was mumbles more like it. I was just telling him to listen to my voice and not pay attention to what was going on," Kubo said.
"One of the bouncers told us he (Cullen) has to get out of here and I was saying, 'You're kidding, he's bleeding,' and he said, 'No, you can wait for the paramedics on the side,'" Kubo said.
In the mayhem, Aki -- bleeding from a broken eye socket and nose -- screamed at the bouncers.
"Next thing after making all the noise I get blindsided again, and I just could cover up and was getting whacked on the ground," Aki said.
Meanwhile, Kaipo Cullen called his parents to tell them his younger brother Patrick was in bad shape. "My son is screaming. We jump out of bed, my husband leaves and I got there shortly after and saw the carnage that was left behind," Evelyn Cullen said.
Kaipo said even as he held his unconscious brother, he was being struck.
"I wanted to see my son in case he's gonna die, I wanna be there. And Kaipo said, 'I wasn't about to leave my brother in case he died. I didn't care if they were pummeling me and beating me because if he was gonna die, he was gonna die with me holding him,'" she said.
The four friends documented their injuries in the hospital days later. With staples in his scalp and a broken collar bone, Patrick is the only one without a story to tell.
"All I remember is waking up in the hospital on the bed, waking up to my mom," he said.
David K. Pedro, 28, was arrested for assault the night of the incident. Several witnesses said he was one of the main assailants and a bouncer at the club.
After watching these videos, the Honolulu Liquor Commission issued two citations to the club: Failure to suppress violence on premise and a violation against the conduct of employees.
Hawaii News Now reached out to M Nightclub for comment. It said the people interviewed for this story were involved in an altercation outside of the club, with non-club personnel.
The club also says it expects to be sued over the incident and added, "Every day we strive to do what is best for our customers. These factually inaccurate comments by financially motivated individuals will be addressed in court as appropriate."