Injured man was attacked in past
By Will Hoover
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Will Hoover
A man who was found in a pool of blood with a slashed neck outside his Kailua home shortly after noon Friday was the victim of two attacks in the past — during armed robberies in Waikiki in 1972 and at a Kailua fast-food restaurant in 1981.
Meanwhile, a woman who has known the injured man's family for years said she's positive she saw him moments before the attack was reported, driving his pickup toward his home with what appeared to be a towel or neck brace around his neck.
Kailua police say the man indicated to firefighters responding to the scene at 1171 Hele St. that two men attacked him and slashed his neck before he managed to call 911 on his cell phone.
He was taken to The Queen's Medical Center Friday in critical condition.
Area residents described him as a well-known neighborhood man, Donald A. Boyce, 67, who owns the home where the incident was reported. They said he operates a woodworking and frame-making business out of his home workshop and also plays Santa to hospital children at Castle Medical Center.
According to articles in The Advertiser's archive, on June 20, 1972, Boyce, then 33 and manager of the Kaukau Village in the International Market Place, told police a masked, long-haired gunman entered the business as Boyce was opening up at 6 a.m., forced him to open the safe, tied him up, and pistol whipped him before taking $4,497 in cash.
Nine years later on Oct. 3, 1981, Boyce, then 42 and the manager of a Kailua Burger King, told police he was shot and robbed at the restaurant by two masked gunmen after he arrived at 5 a.m. to check on a telephone tip that there had been a problem.
"Police said no suspects were arrested, and it was not known why Boyce was shot because he had been tied up first by the two robbers," The Advertiser reported the next day. Boyce was shot in the chest and taken to Castle in serious condition. The story did not say how much might have been stolen.
Honolulu police investigators at the scene on Friday said they were unable to question Boyce before he was taken by Emergency Medical Services ambulance to Queen's. Relatives of Boyce said Friday night that they didn't want to talk about the situation but did say Boyce was in intensive care and his condition had stabilized.
Police had still not interviewed Boyce yesterday afternoon. But police detective Dan Nakasato said he was anxious to talk to Boyce. Nakasato said he was aware of the 1981 shooting but not the 1972 armed robbery report.
"Either he has the worst luck I've heard, or. ... ," Nakasato said without finishing the sentence. "I'm definitely going to ask him about it."
The detective said he was struck by the similarity of the incidents.
Carol Merriam, 46, a friend of the family, said she is positive she saw Boyce on Friday driving toward his home in his pickup with something around his neck that resembled a towel or neck brace. She said it was after 11:30 a.m., but before the attack was reported to authorities.
Merriam said she left work in Kahuku at 11 a.m. and was on her way home when she first noticed Boyce.
"They were behind me, and I was looking at them in the rearview mirror, and it looked like he had something around his neck," said Merriam, who recognized Boyce and the truck, and said she assumed the passenger with him was his wife.
"I was driving in front of them, and they were following me before then" — meaning before 12:39 p.m., the time HPD and EMS say the 911 call came in on Friday.
She said since she hadn't been in contact with the family in a long time, she considered following the pickup to the Boyce home to inquire on how everyone was doing. But she changed her mind when the pickup turned on to Hele Street.
When she read news reports yesterday, she assumed the accounts had been in error and that Boyce had been attacked after 12 midnight Friday and not 12 noon. She concluded that Boyce and his wife had been on their way home from the hospital when she saw them in the pickup.
EMS spokesman Bryan Cheplic said paramedics initially didn't know if Boyce's wound could had been self-inflicted. He said they concluded that due to the angle of the cut, it would be very difficult to self-inflict such a wound.
Nearby residents expressed shock after Boyce was found on the ground in a pool of blood near his carport and workshop. They described Boyce as someone who is well known and liked, a person who always has a smile and a friendly word.
Police said neighbors told investigators that there was talk that two men had attacked Boyce. However, detectives said no one actually told them they saw or heard anything.
Reach Will Hoover at firstname.lastname@example.org.