Stabbing victim keeps spirits high in 'halo'


POSTED: Sunday, March 01, 2009

Nicholas Iwamoto almost lost his life when he was stabbed 18 times while hiking the Koko Crater Trail, but he didn't lose his sense of humor.

;[Preview] Koko Head Stabbing Victim Released From Hospital

February Koko Head stabbing victim, Nicolas Iwamoto was released at Queens today, thankful for the support from loved ones and strangers.

Watch ]


Gripping a cane, his head in a metal brace to keep his neck rigid, he said he plans to run in the next Honolulu Marathon.

When asked whether he's ever run it before, the 22-year-old smirked and said, “;No but I've run the Koko Crater Trail before. I didn't quite make it.”;

The 23-year-old restaurant worker was chipper yesterday as he was discharged from the Queen's Medical Center. He was the second victim in an alleged stabbing spree by 19-year-old Benjamin Davis. Guy Tanaka, 55, also was stabbed, but was not injured as severely.

Davis has been charged with first-degree attempted murder. Police said he smoked marijuana spiked with LSD before stabbing Tanaka and Iwamoto on Feb. 1.

Davis was wielding a knife with a 4- to 5-inch blade when he stabbed Tanaka in the back. Davis later stabbed Iwamoto in the neck, face, scalp, chest, both hands and abdomen.

Iwamoto said it was an “;exciting ride”; as he was airlifted out of the trail. He thanked all the emergency first responders yesterday.

Iwamoto and his parents, Sonny and Kitty, couldn't discuss details of the incident, pending legal proceedings. But Iwamoto did say it would be at least three months before he fully recovers.

Iwamoto said he's had to learn how to walk, talk and breathe again.

He broke his neck from the fall after he was stabbed, so his vertebrae is stabilized in a halo device, which consists of metal rods attached to a band around his head and supported by a shoulder brace. He quipped that the device was a “;fashion accessory.”;

His right arm and leg also were in braces and he walks with a cane.

“;Having the halo on sort of hurts,”; he said. “;Breathing is difficult, but it's getting better.”;

Davis remains in custody, unable to post the $100,000 bail. He has also been charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder.