Beating victim Johnny Miller III yesterday looked at photos of himself taken during his recovery from severe head injuries.

Beating victim wants

A man lost part of his brain after
an attack, and he is asking
the public for help

Johnny Miller III does not remember anything about the April 20 Chinatown attack that put him in a coma for 19 days.


Anyone with information about the attack on Johnny Miller III is asked to call Detective Jojo Takesato at 529-3074. Anonymous calls can be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or by dialing *CRIME on a cell phone.

Miller's head injuries required doctors to remove a golf ball-size part of his brain. When he finally awoke in the Queen's Medical Center, the damage to his memory was such that he could not recognize his own mother.

"I thought she looked like my mother but that it wasn't her," he recalled yesterday. "I started crying."

Miller, who has been released from the hospital, talked to reporters at the main police station to request that witnesses to the attack come forward. The assault occurred about 10:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Maunakea Street, a block away from the downtown police substation.

Detective Jojo Takesato said witnesses might not be willing to come forward.

"There's drug activity there. People may have warrants for their arrest, and so they don't want to talk to police," he said. "We just need one person to come forward.

"He could have died. ... His injuries were life-threatening."

Takesato said she was shocked when Miller came to see her at the police station about two months after the attack to talk about the case. Even though he needed help walking, it was a still a vast improvement from the man who barely could say "hello" and "goodbye" to her when she came to see him in the hospital, Takesato said.

"He was like an infant," she said. "The doctors thought he was going to be a vegetable."

Miller spoke yesterday about what he could remember prior to the attack. He said he was in Chinatown that night checking out a pawnshop to see if it might have his laptop computer, which had been stolen from his car about three weeks before.

Miller said he went to ask police at the downtown station about whether they had heard about any break-ins.

While walking away from the station on Maunakea Street, someone called him by his nickname, which Miller said only about 10 or 15 people would know.

"I heard someone say, 'J! J!' Then, 10 seconds later, the blow came," he said. "And 19 days later I woke up.

"I have no idea why someone would do this."

Since then, Miller, 37, returned to business classes at Leeward Community College and also helps manage a halfway house. But he said his memory loss affects his everyday life and makes even little things difficult.

"I forget names and addresses and numbers the next day," he said. "It takes me half an hour to get dressed because I forget where things are.

"But I feel a lot better than I used to."



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