GRAPHIC: Surveillance footage captures brutal beating of Kona security guard
Three people have pleaded not guilty in the case.
KONA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Authorities have released surveillance video of three people accused of trying to kill a security officer at a Kona hotel.
Security guard John Kanui is still recovering from life-threatening injuries while his alleged assailants are behind bars.
Meanwhile, suspects Wesley Samoa, Lama Lauvao and Natisha Tautalatasi pleaded not guilty to attempted murder on Friday.
Investigators said Kanui was responding to a complaint about loud noise in the hotel’s parking lot just after midnight on Sep. 17. They say when Kanui approached the group, they started yelling at him.
The encounter then escalated to them pulling him from his security golf cart and taking turns punching and kicking him in his face ― even after he appears to be unconscious.
Russell Ikeda, vice President of the Hawaii Hotel Visitor Industry Security Association, said the video is heartbreaking.
"It was very, very disturbing. My heart goes out to the security officer first off, all and his family. It’s very hard to watch," said Ikeda.
When Kona patrol officers arrived on scene, they arrested Samoa, Lauvao, and Tautalatasi. The three have since been charged with second-degree attempted murder.
Prosecutors said since Kanui is more than 60 years old, the defendants could face a tougher penalty.
They said if convicted of the attempted murder charge and if they knew he was over 60 years old, they could be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Ikeda, who is a retired Honolulu police officer, said this level of violence doesn’t happen often. But when it does, it serves as a harsh reminder how dangerous a security job can be.
“In a few weeks we’re having our security conference with all the security directors from all islands and I’m sure this subject is going to be brought up and reinforced about officer safety,” Ikeda said.
Kanui was airlifted to Oahu with life-threatening injuries.
The three suspects remain behind bars being held on $250,000 bail each.
A jury trial has been set for January of next year.
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