Saturday, May 14, 2005

The father of Pfc. Brandon Scott, who was attacked by two unknown men, is asking for the public's help in finding the suspects. Scott likely suffered brain damage from the beating.

Father wants
attackers found

He says his son was viciously
attacked in Waikiki because
he is in the military

The father of a 19-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier who was nearly beaten to death in Waikiki on Mother's Day is asking for the public's help in finding his son's attackers.

Bill Baird, a well-known birth control advocate and founder of New York's Pro-Choice League, said his son -- Pfc. Brandon Scott, who joined the military 10 months ago and has hopes of fighting in Iraq -- nearly lost his life in the attack.

"They knocked him unconscious, took their feet and stepped on his skull," Baird said yesterday at a news conference at the site of the incident. "This isn't Iraq. These are American soldiers."

Scott is recovering at Tripler Army Medical Center after three days in intensive care at the Queen's Medical Center. The attack likely left him with brain damage, though doctors say it is too early to tell its extent, Baird said.

Since waking up, Scott has had trouble seeing and speaking.

Police are investigating the case as an attempted murder but have no leads or descriptions on the two suspects involved.

Baird said the attackers were described by his son and other witnesses as between 20 and 25 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds. One was wearing denim shorts and a white T-shirt, while the other had on black shorts and a black short-sleeved shirt.

The attack happened at about 3 a.m. Sunday when Scott was in front of the Jack in the Box restaurant at 2310 Kuhio Ave. with four other soldiers and the wife of one of the men.

Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said details of the attack are not clear because detectives have not yet interviewed Scott and are still looking for other witnesses. But she said "it appears" words were exchanged between the suspects and the victim before the assault.

According to Baird, who has talked to his son and the other soldiers involved, the attack was unprovoked. He said two large men ran up to Scott and punched him in the face, knocking him unconscious.

They then stomped on his head, Baird said.

Baird says the attack was motivated by a hatred for military service members, and says other assaults involving soldiers support his claims. But Yu said she could not think of a similar attack involving a soldier.

Because the investigation is ongoing, she could not say whether police were looking into the possibility that the attack against Scott was hate-motivated.

Meanwhile, Army spokeswoman Capt. Juanita Chang said the attack was an "isolated incident."

"We have great relationships with all of our local communities," she said, "and we'll continue to have great relationships."

She did say, though, that the Army investigation into the attack will take into account the father's claims. "If he feels that way," Chang said, "we need to look into it to ensure that our soldiers our safe."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Criminal Investigation Division at 529-3115.

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