A Canadian tourist who offered a sad-looking man $8 and a ride testified this week that he was instead robbed at gunpoint of his money and cell phone and pushed out of his car.
Pierre Pilon, who was visiting the Hawaiian island of Maui, said during a preliminary hearing that a man he saw Sunday morning outside a bank where he'd just withdrawn money "looked sad" and distressed, so he offered him money for breakfast, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The man, later identified as Joseph Planesi-Kauhola Jr., asked for a ride, then pulled a gun, Pilon testified Thursday.
A judge ruled at the conclusion of the hearing there was probable cause to hold Planesi-Kauhola for trial. Bail was raised to $140,000 after the judge deemed him a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Planesi-Kauhola, who police said was unemployed and homeless, was arrested later Sunday, tracked by police using an app to find the stolen cell phone.
Pilon testified he drove the man to Haleakala Highway, where Planesi-Kauhola put a gun against his ribs.
"He said something like, 'Don't do anything stupid. Give me everything you have. Give me your wallet,'" Pilon testified, according to the Maui News.
Pilon said the man pushed him out of the vehicle and drove away, leaving him on the side of the highway. He said he flagged down a passing car, called the police, and helped officers use an app to locate his stolen iPhone, according to Hawaii News Now.
Police found the vehicle in a Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. cane field. They located Planesi-Kauhola about 500 yards away at a residence on Mahae Street. He had $740 in his pockets at the time of his arrest, police said.