Wednesday, December 29, 1999

Stabbed Oregon State
player may get to go
home on Friday

A group that assists visitors
who are crime victims
is helping him

Star-Bulletin staff


The Oregon State University football player who was stabbed in Waikiki will fly to his hometown of Barstow, Calif., on Friday morning if his doctor approves.

Info BoxCharles O'Neal, the 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive lineman for the Beavers, will find out at a doctor's appointment tomorrow whether he can travel and spend New Years Day with his family.

"He's doing great," said Darrell Large, executive director of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii. "There's no inflammation around the (injured) area. It's a clean wound -- but he will have a scar."

Although he is alone, while resting in a Waikiki hotel room, he's had contact with teammates and a trainer who live on Oahu, Large said.

O'Neal was stabbed in the lower back early Sunday morning outside the Kuhio Avenue Jack-in-the-Box restaurant. His teammate and fellow defensive lineman Paul Luoma, 26, also was cut during the attack.

O'Neal and Luoma were in Honolulu for the Oahu Bowl, which Oregon State lost to the University of Hawaii.

VASH, a support group for tourists who are victims of crimes, has supplied O'Neal, 21, with hotel, food, transportation and an Aloha shirt to replace the one ruined in the stabbing.

"We're even changing his bandages," Large said. "That's a new one for VASH."

VASH got involved after being contacted by Queen's Hospital where O'Neal was released Monday evening. The rest of the team left the islands on Sunday.

"They informed us he was getting out with no real place to go," Large said, who said no visitor should leave Hawaii without experiencing the aloha of the islands.

Police meanwhile continue to search for suspects.

"We've never had an incident like this in our 18 years," said Lenny Klompus, CEO of Bowl Games Hawaii. "We've always provided a safe environment during Aloha Bowl Week. It's an unfortunate, isolated incident."

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