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StarBulletin.com

Man in coma after beating


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POSTED: Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A 25-year-old Waipahu man remained in a coma yesterday after reportedly being kicked; beaten with beer bottles, fists and a bat; then struck by a Jeep Cherokee on a Waipahu street Saturday night.

Seven people—three men, three women and a 15-year-old girl—were charged with second-degree attempted murder in the beating of Sekonaia Vainikolo.

Ironically, Vainikolo, pictured below, came to Hawaii to escape the violence of Los Angeles.

“;We thought Hawaii has friendly people,”; said his wife, Seine Lokosuka. “;We came here for our safety because we thought it's safer than LA.”;

She said she cannot understand how the suspects, most of whom are neighbors, could do this to him.

The six adults, who made their initial appearance in Honolulu District Court yesterday, are Jimmy Robinson, 19; Paulo A. Ioane, 20; Jeremiah Leota, 26; Jamel Leota, 25; Ana T. Lealiiee, 45; and Eliza T. Lealiiee, 19. They were being held in lieu of $30,000 bail each.

;[Preview]  Waipahu Beating Creates Anxiety For One Family
 

A Waipahu family says they fear retaliation after a brutal beating that happened Friday night.

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Police got statements with some variation from witnesses who said Vainikolo and Lokosuka were dropped off at 94-275 Pupuole St., where Vainikolo asked for a cigarette from a group of people.

Ioane got into an argument with him and allegedly punched Vainikolo once in the face, the police affidavit said.

The remaining group of seven to eight females started punching, kicking and hitting him with bottles, the affidavit said.

When he broke free, a white Jeep Cherokee pulled up and hit him, causing him to fall to the ground.

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Three men got out and began beating him as he lay on the roadway, according to the affidavit. The driver, identified as Jeremiah Leota, also allegedly kicked him and used a bat to beat him in the head. A witness told police that Robinson used a bat to hit him in the head and body.

“;All he asked for is a cigarette, and they leave him there like an animal and they drag him like an animal,”; Lokosuka told the Star-Bulletin. “;I'll make sure they go to jail.”;

She called 911. “;After they were done with my husband, they looked at me—the guy with the baseball bat,”; Lokosuka said. “;Lucky because the police come right there. I think I would be next.”;

She estimates there were about 20 people there, and there are at least three others who were involved in the beating still at large.

Kevin Lealiiee said all those arrested are his family members, including his sister Susan, 15.

He said Susan told him last night Vainikolo allegedly demanded a cigarette from Jamel Leota and took it from her.

Robinson, who is Lealiiee's sister Eliza's boyfriend, told Vainikolo to give it back, and the two men started fighting.

Vainikolo allegedly punched their sister, Eliza, and she has a lump above her left eye, Lealiiee said.

Lealiiee said his sister claims Vainikolo was drunk, while his wife contends the suspects were all drinking, while her husband had been drinking awa.

Lealiiee maintains his younger sister is innocent and “;got picked out because she was at the scene.”;

She is scheduled to make her court appearance today at the detention home where she is being held.