Thursday, May 13, 1999

Police sketches of the three suspects.

Attack outside bar
in Waialae left one
hurt, one in coma

A victim spent weeks unconscious
after a blow to the head; police
want to question three men

By Harold Morse


Jeff Kipling remained in a coma with brain damage for several weeks after an assault April 4 outside the Top of the Hill karaoke bar on Waialae Avenue.

He left the hospital this month after regaining consciousness.

Detective Letha DeCaires, CrimeStoppers coordinator, said Kipling was leaving with a friend about 2 a.m. A group of men, who had been in the bar earlier, confronted them, and one suspect struck Kipling on the head. He fell unconscious.

Another man attacked his friend and left him lying with head cuts and bruises.

CrimeStoppers and police need help in identifying three men, wanted for questioning.

DeCaires said friends thought the other victim was hurt worse than Kipling, who remained unconscious as friends drove the injured men to Kaiser Hospital.

Kipling's friend had visible injuries, but Kipling did not, DeCaires said. The other man left the hospital a few hours after the attack.

Before his injury, Kipling managed an ABC convenience store.

Family members came from their Kona home for extended times to help, said father Gary Kipling.

To him and his wife, their son is all-important now. "That's why we're here," he said. "This thing with Jeff has taken all our energy, all we could muster together."

Jeff Kipling is "working hard daily, and he's going through rehabilitation both at the Kaiser Hospital and at home," the father said. "So we're all extremely happy about that, of course. His goal is to return to work as soon as he can. We feel that with the Lord's help that he's going to recover to 100 percent of his former abilities," though it may take a while.

Gary Kipling said Jeff graduated with honors in recreational management from the University of Hawaii in 1995.

The suspects are described as:

Bullet No. 1: In his 20s, 5 feet 8, 160 pounds, slim build, straight, neck-length black hair, brown complexion, black eyes, no shirt, shorts. Second description of the same man: Early 20s, 5 feet 6, 140 pounds, medium build, curly black hair, brown complexion, T-shirt (later taken off), shorts.

Bullet No. 2: In his late 20s, 6 feet, 220 pounds, medium build, curly black hair, crew cut, brown eyes, brown complexion, black mustache, blue jacket, jeans, possibly hangs out at Crane Community Park.

Bullet No. 3: In his 30s, 6 feet, 200 pounds, heavy build, wavy black hair, brown complexion, black mustache, green T-shirt.

The suspects may have driven a Chevy Astro Van, white with a "homemade" paint job, blue paint showing through the white.

CrimeStoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Call 955-8300.

E-mail to City Desk

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