Near-death beating caught on camera

  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sheri Lawson, left, shows a surveillance video of the beating of a hotel security guard to Judge Margaret Masunaga, Police Officer Hamakado and defense attorneys Ann Datta, William Reece and Andrew Kennedy Friday at the preliminary hearing for Wesley Samoa, Lama Lauvao and Natisha Tautalatasi charged with attempted murder. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Wesley Samoa, charged with attempted murder, appears at a preliminary hearing Friday in District Court. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Judge Margaret Masunaga, left, police officer Hamakado and defense attorneys Ann Datta and William Reece watch a surveillance video of the beating of a hotel security guard Friday at the preliminary hearing for Wesley Samoa, Lama Lauvao and Natisha Tautalatasi charged with attempted murder. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Natisha Tautalatasi, charged with attempted murder, appears at a preliminary hearing Friday in District Court. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Lama Lauvao, charged with attempted murder, appears at a preliminary hearing Friday in District Court. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Defendants Lama Lauvao, Natisha Tautalatasi and Wesley Samoa appear with attorneys William Reece and Ann Datta at their preliminary hearing on charges of attempted murder Friday in District Court. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sheri Lawson, front, shows a surveillance video of the beating of a hotel security guard to Judge Margaret Masunaga, police officer Hamakado and defense attorneys Ann Datta and William Reece Friday at the preliminary hearing for Wesley Samoa, Lama Lauvao and Natisha Tautalatasi charged with attempted murder. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KEALAKEKUA — An assault on a hotel security guard in downtown Kona was captured on surveillance camera and viewed by the District Court judge as well as defense counselors during a preliminary hearing on Friday.

Wesley Samoa, Natisha Tautalatasi and Lama Lauvao have been charged with second-degree attempted murder in the near-death beating of a security guard at the Kona Seaside Hotel.

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The assault occurred about 12:30 a.m. Monday. According to Hawaii Police, the defendants became involved in a verbal confrontation with the victim but it escalated into the three individuals physically assaulting the guard.

Deputy Prosecutor Sheri Lawson called Gina Morado, a victim witness counselor with the prosecutor’s office, as her first witness. The victim was identified during Morado’s testimony but West Hawaii Today doesn’t name victims.

Lawson asked Morado about whether the guard was contacted about testifying at the preliminary hearing.

Morado told the court she had reached out to the victim, however, as of Friday morning, he was on life support at The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu.

Lynette Walker was the next to take the stand. A night auditor and front desk employee at the hotel, she testified she was working the night of the assault.

Walker told the court she observed on the hotel’s security system the victim laying in the parking lot on his back. At that point, she called 911 then went outside to ask if he was OK.

Two Hawaii Police officers testified they identified assailants in the assault from surveillance video they obtained from the hotel. Officer Matthew Taira told the court he responded to the hotel at 12:36 a.m.

When he arrived, Taira stated Lauvao, Tautalatasi and Samoa were sitting on the rockwall and had been detained. After reviewing the surveillance video, all three were taken into custody.

Based on what he saw in the video, Taira testified, Samoa, Lauvao and Tautalatasi simultaneously struck the guard multiple times. He added that he observed in the video Tautalatasi kick Kanui while he was on the ground motionless on her own, multiple times.

Lawson also called to the stand Marisa Hori, emergency room doctor at Kona Community Hospital. Hori testified that she treated the victim early Monday for a cervical spine fracture. He was later flown to Queen’s for further treatment.

Hori classified the security guard’s injuries as serious.

The only cross-examination throughout the entire hearing was by Tautalatasi’s defense counselor William Reece, who asked Hori about her certification.

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Afterward, District Court Judge Margaret Masunaga determined there was sufficient evidence to move the case to 3rd Circuit Court. An arraignment for the defendants is scheduled for Sept. 28 in Judge Melvin Fujino’s courtroom.

The defendants remain in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center. Bail was maintained at $250,000 each.

  1. Big Mac September 22, 2018 5:59 am

    The mom said he just had a moment.


  2. Say What? September 22, 2018 8:53 am

    The police have done their job. The medical professionals did theirs. Now it’s time for a judge to step up. Anything less than putting these three dirt-bags away for decades would be an insult to civilized citizens.


  3. Mark Schacht September 22, 2018 10:03 am

    Really brave…3-4 on 1. Put these people, if they did it, away for a long while. And, if drugs were involved, get them treatment. Hope the victim recovers quickly, and never has this happen again. His employer should definitely step up, maybe a Go Fund Me page, because he’s going to need help…


    1. Du Mhan Yhu September 22, 2018 3:22 pm

      A lot like the Anitifags, mobbing individuals. That is why a definitive means of personal defense is needed.


      1. antifaHI September 22, 2018 11:23 pm

        Nice try, but violence resides predominately within your rightwing quarters. That’s the one where the hearts, souls, and minds matter less.


  4. paul September 22, 2018 10:36 am

    long story short…prison for 20 years or even execution….I am fine for removing 3 scumbags off the planet…


  5. metalman808 September 22, 2018 10:39 am

    There probably making plea bargains already.


  6. Servite Omak September 22, 2018 11:55 am

    I think they would make great Democrat candidates for congress, and Hawaii in its unending wisdom would elect them in a landslide


  7. bluemoki September 22, 2018 2:08 pm

    So West Hawaii Today “doesn’t name victims”, but a few paragraphs later the victim’s name is revealed as Kanui: “…he observed in the video Tautalatasi kick Kanui while he was on the ground motionless…. ” Good job protecting the victim’s identity.


  8. Ernest T Bass September 22, 2018 3:37 pm

    the entire THREE are not worth 50 cents between them
    Put them away.
    Don’t look back.Don’t talk about Divine Sparks and Rehabilitation…..put them Far Away and apart from the world.
    They walk ALONE


  9. angkoldoy September 22, 2018 3:55 pm

    We pray that those in positions above the prosecutors are not telling the prosecutors to stand down on the Hate Crime charges.


  10. Kaipo Wall September 24, 2018 9:53 am

    3-4 on 1 ? Concealed carry is the equalizer


    1. Du Mhan Yhu September 24, 2018 12:20 pm

      Or if Antifags are in a group, nun-chuks in your back pocket or waistband.


  11. metalman808 September 24, 2018 10:33 am

    There’s a 99.9% chance that’s not them in the video. So we have to let them go free. Democratic justice.


  12. Michael September 24, 2018 12:03 pm

    Hawaii needs a 3 strike law …. stop the rotating jail doors for good and farm em out to the private prisons in Arizona.


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