HONOLULU (KHON2) — Jeromy Reyes-Orcino was hit in the head with a bat during an altercation last Saturday. The entire incident caught on video. The 20-year-old from Hilo opened up about how this incident changed his life and had a message to share with others. A warning, some of the images in this story may be disturbing.
“Walk away. Even if it’s in the heat of the moment, it’s always best to just walk away,” Reyes-Orcino said.
Words of wisdom he wishes he followed after being bashed in the back of the head with a baseball bat four days earlier. He said he suffered a fractured skull and brain bleed.
“For me to experience that, it really does change my perspective on things,” he said sitting slightly hunched over in a wheelchair.
Reyes-Orcino said he was out with friends at Honolii Beach Park in Hilo after midnight last Friday when it happened.
“I had friends there that, I guess they had altercation with other boys. It didn’t involve me at first, because I heard yelling and screaming I kind of walked my way down to, you know, figure out what was happening,” he explained. “And then next thing you know, I get whacked in the head. I kind of knocked out.”
KHON2 News asked if he remembered the moment when it happened?
“Not quite,” he said. “I just knew I got whacked from the back.”
That’s when he said things went almost black. But he could still faintly hear yelling.
“I just felt scared cause my life was on the line.”
His friends rushed him to the emergency room in Hilo where he said doctors performed emergency surgery before he was transported to The Queen’s Medical Center for a second procedure.
“I just want to say thank you to the people that kind of helped me in that situation,” Reyes-Orcino said. “In that moment I kind of felt like that was it for me… I’m just grateful that I’m here.”
KHON2 asked “Did you ever think anything like this would ever happen to you?”
“No,” he said. “I did not see this coming.”
In a way, he said he thinks it happened for a reason.
“Before I did have hatred, I did carry hatred in my heart, did carry retaliation and stuff,” he explained. “But now it did kind of open my eyes. And if this didn’t happen to me, I’d still be the same person I was before.”
“Do you have any message to the guy that actually hit you?” KHON2 questioned.
“The message I have for him is it’s best that he just realize what he did and there is no coming back from this cause now I got to restart my life … I just wish the best for him and I hope that he will learn his lessons from this.”
“So you forgive him?” KHON2 asked.
“Yes, yes, I am a believer in Christ,” he said.
After spending several days at Queens Medical Center, he said he’s relieved he finally gets to go home.
“I’m kind of taking this in,” he said enjoying the fresh out being outside for the first time in days. “It feels good.”
Despite it all, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.
“Gotta grab my hat cause they did kind of mess up my hair,” he said smiling and letting out a chuckle. “(They) should have just shaved it bald.”
According to the Hawaii Police Department, suspects have been identified but they have not made any arrests yet. The investigation is ongoing.
“It’s, you know, definitely a heinous crime. But, I mean, it’s not something that’s completely out of the ordinary, we do see those types of crimes,” Cpt. Rio Amon-Wilkins explained.
Amon-Wilkins leads the Area 1 Criminal Investigation Division on the Big Island.
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He said that after a dip in violent crime during the pandemic, incidents are starting to return to pre-pandemic levels.