Killed Maui teen was likely run over by vehicle
Yesuah Boerstler was beat up and dragged onto the road during a party, witnesses say
KIHEI, Maui » A Maui teenager who died at Maui Memorial Medical Center received crushing injuries to the head consistent with being run over by a motor vehicle, Police Lt. Glenn Cuomo said.
Cuomo said police investigators were looking at the death of 18-year-old Yesuah Boerstler as a homicide and searching for witnesses.
Boerstler attended a party at the Pauwela Lighthouse in Haiku on Wednesday night.
Passers-by found him lying unresponsive several feet from a road at about 8 a.m. Thursday, and he died Friday evening at the hospital, Cuomo said.
Boerstler, a drummer and singer of the punk-rock band DCs, had gone to Pauwela Lighthouse to attend a birthday party, his friend and fellow band member Thor Altland said.
Friends said there were about 50 to 60 people and a few kegs of beer.
Altland said he was not at the party, but spoke to people who had seen a conflict between Boerstler and a group of youths and young men.
According to the witnesses, there was a conflict involving one of the men trying to take Boerstler's cup of beer and because of a conflict about a girlfriend, Altland said.
"These people beat him up ... and dragged him on the road and ran him over," Altland said.
Friends said Boerstler might have been the target of a beating because of his "punk" appearance, including his black leather jacket and skin-tight jeans. But they said he was not the type to pick a fight.
"He was the last person to pick a fight with anyone," Altland said.
Boerstler had moved from Kauai to Maui and lived in rural Kanaio before moving to Makawao, where he attended King Kekaulike High School, until he dropped out in his freshman year.
"He was really neat. There was no one like him," said Wailea Johnston, a high school friend.
Johnston said Boerstler would say things that people only thought.
"He was really, really funny," she said.
He later attended Kihei Charter School and Maui Community College and was close to receiving his GED, friends said.
Max Watson, a member of DCs, said the band planned to move to Oregon to play music and try to get a record deal. He said he was in Portland when he heard about Boerstler's death and returned to Maui yesterday.
Watson said the band still planned to move to Oregon.
"Yesh would have wanted us to do that. ... We're going to live the dream," he said.
Watson said services are tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday at Hope Chapel in Kihei.