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Bail increased for man accused of assault, extorting money from tourists

July 12, 2012
The Maui Weekly

The Maui News - On Tuesday, July 3, a judge increased bail to $25,000 for a man accused of assaulting and trying to extort money from California tourists who had been hiking at Twin Falls.

Jesse Nako'oka, 36, of Waiehu is charged with attempted second-degree extortion, second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault, two counts of harassment and false reporting to law enforcement.

Nako'oka was arrested at Twin Falls on Sunday afternoon, after the visitors from Riverside, California, reported that when they returned from hiking, Nako'oka had set up a barbecue chicken stand to block in their vehicle, then demanded $20 to move his vehicle so they could leave, according to police. After being paid the money, Nako'oka demanded more, saying he wanted $20 per person, police said.

When he didn't get the additional money, Nako'oka assaulted one man with a rake, striking the victim's chest and arm "hard enough to break the rake handle," said Deputy Prosecutor John Tam. He said Nako'oka punched another man in the face and assaulted two women, one of whom has cancer. One of the women reported being pushed to the ground.

While the visitors drove to the Pa'ia Fire Station to report being assaulted, Nako'oka told police he used the rake after being almost hit by a car.

Police reported recovering the broken metal rake and 11 $20 bills from Nako'oka.

Judge Richard Priest granted the prosecution's request, increasing Nako'oka's bail from $2,400 to $25,000.



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