(AP) – A Maui man is accused of assaulting California tourists while trying to extort money from them. Jesse Nakooka couldn’t be reached at Maui Community Correctional Center Thursday, where he’s being held on $25,000 bail.
Police say he was arrested Sunday after the Riverside tourists reported he demanded cash to move a barbecue chicken stand blocking their vehicle. The visitors were returning from hiking at Twin Falls when they encountered Nakooka. Police say after they gave him $20, he demanded $20 per person.
Deputy Prosecutor John Tam tells the Maui News when Nakooka didn’t get more cash he hit one man with a rake, punched another man in the face and assaulted two women.
Deputy Public Defender Aisha Hill says Nakooka operates the chicken stand to support his family.