Guard says ill broker appeared 'beaten up'
By Loren Moreno
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Loren Moreno
Honolulu police issued a call yesterday for anyone who may have seen an assault on Oliver Johnson, who remains at The Queen's Medical Center fighting a flesh-eating bacteria.
Police have received conflicting information about the events that landed Johnson, a 34-year-old mortgage broker, in the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor last week and ultimately led to his hospitalization.
Johnson had told police that he was assaulted late Thursday night or early Friday morning. Friends say that occurred after Johnson had been drinking Thursday night at a bar near the harbor. But new reports emerged yesterday that Johnson may have been on a boat when he was beaten.
Police continue to investigate the case as an assault, Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Yu said.
Johnson remained in extremely critical condition at Queen's late yesterday afternoon, according to Stephany Sofos, a close friend of Johnson's.
State Health Department officials have said it is unclear whether the 48 million gallons of sewage dumped into the Ala Wai Canal more than a week ago contributed to Johnson's medical condition. However, some University of Hawai'i scientists have said the sewage could have played a part.
Johnson went into septic shock — an overwhelming infection that shuts down organs — on Sunday, which led to his loss of consciousness and being placed on life support, friends said. His left leg was amputated.
New details about events leading to Johnson's hospitalization came yesterday from a security guard at his condominium.
After checking the security log, David Dillener, 51, said Johnson had returned to the building around 4 a.m. on Friday. Johnson later went back out and returned around 5 p.m.
When Johnson arrived on the property of the Tradewinds condominium Friday afternoon, he looked like he had been "beaten up," Dillener said.
"He came through the gate in the back. I saw him on the security monitor," Dillener said. "I looked through the window and I saw him fall."
Johnson was holding a 40-ounce bottle wrapped in a brown paper sack, Dillener said.
"He had cuts and bruises, just really a mess. It looked like he had been in a fight," Dillener said. "He also had a really bad, bloody eye. You couldn't even see his eyeball. It looked like someone just socked him."
Dillener also said it looked as if Johnson had attempted to clean his wounds, since he was wearing a bandage over one of his eyes. He said Johnson's bruises and cuts looked fresh but had dried.
Dillener also said Johnson's clothes appeared wet and had sand on them.
"The clothes he was in smelled really bad," Dillener said.
An ambulance was called and police took a statement from Johnson around 6:30 p.m., Yu said.
Johnson's mother arrived Monday from Florida and one of his older brothers came from the Mainland yesterday, Sofos said.
Family are expected to make a statement to media within the next few days, Sofos said.Staff writer Rod Ohira contributed to this report.
Reach Loren Moreno at firstname.lastname@example.org.