Good Samaritan was ‘always helping’
Two men charged in the robbery that led to the attack are set to appear in court today
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Ned Nakoa Jr. always came to the aid of others.
So it didn't surprise his family that he helped a couple being robbed by two men on a Waikiki street corner.
Sister Maryann Barros said: "He's always been such an open, warmhearted person, always helping people and sometimes we would worry because he would just help anyone.
"This time it cost him his life, unfortunately."
Nakoa was allegedly assaulted by one of the robbers near Paoakalani and Kalakaua avenues early Sunday morning. He was taken in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center; he died at 10:25 a.m.
Last night, police charged 19-year-old Kelii Acasia Jr. of Waianae with murder. His bail is $1 million. They also charged 18-year-old Benjamin Pada with robbery.
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That Ned Nakoa Jr. helped a couple being robbed on a Waikiki street corner doesn't surprise his family.
"He's always done that," said his sister Maryann Barros. "He's always been such an open, warmhearted person, always helping people and sometimes we would worry because he would just help anyone.
"This time it cost him his life, unfortunately," Barros said.
After midnight Saturday, Nakoa was coming from his niece's wedding reception in Waikiki when he saw two men using force to steal a purse from the couple, ages 26 and 29, police said.
Nakoa was allegedly assaulted by a 19-year-old Waianae man near Paoakalani and Kalakaua avenues. He was taken in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center, where he died at 10:25 a.m. Sunday.
The Medical Examiner's Office said Nakoa died from bleeding in the head caused by blunt impact due to the assault, and ruled the death a homicide.
Prosecutors last night charged Kelii Acasia Jr., 19, with second-degree murder. His bail was set at $1 million.
Acasia was out on probation for a 2006 second-degree sexual assault conviction involving a male juvenile inmate at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility. His probation had been revoked and a warrant was out for his arrest.
Benjamin Pada, an 18-year-old Makaha man, was charged with second-degree robbery and second-degree assault and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
The two were scheduled to make their initial appearance in court this morning.
The robbery victims were a Marine stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe and his girlfriend, who was on an extended visit in Hawaii. The couple were sitting on the beach at Waikiki at about 12:11 a.m. Sunday when Pada allegedly took the purse off her lap, kicked her boyfriend and ran away laughing, a court document said.
The Marine then ran after Pada, caught him and punched him in the mouth, causing Pada to release the purse, according to document. Pada fled, but was arrested soon thereafter.
The Marine told police that another man, later identified as Acasia, tried to fight with him but then ran. The Marine said that's when Nakoa stepped in. The Marine said he saw Acasia "hit an older male that tried to help, knocking that male to the ground," according to the court document.
Court documents state that one of two males "punched and kicked Nakoa until he laid on the ground motionless."
The documents also said Acasia punched Nakoa in the face, caused him to drop to his knees, then kicked him in the head, causing him to fall forward on the concrete.
Five other witnesses identified Acasia as the man who hit Nakoa.
Nakoa was "a loving person, very free, very open person," Barros said. "He just loved everyone no matter who they were."
That love was especially true with his extended family.
Though Nakoa never married and had no children of his own, he remembered all his nieces' and nephews' birthdays and attended each of their graduations.
"They were like his children," she said.
Nakoa had just moved to Seattle in January and had just returned to attend his niece's wedding Saturday night.
Nakoa, born and raised in Hawaii and a 1968 Saint Louis High School graduate, returned to school later in life and got his bachelor's degree from Hawaii Pacific University.
Clare DeLeon, a first cousin who is the same age as Nakoa, remained close with Nakoa since childhood.
The two would always sit together at family gatherings.
Nakoa was "big-hearted" and "loved by everybody," she said.
"He made everybody laugh," DeLeon said. "That's why we got along. We had almost the same type of personality.
"He was a happy go-lucky man. He wasn't a troublemaker," DeLeon said.
As for his good Samaritan action, she said: "Ned's like that. He'll help anybody. That's how he is. That's his type.
"If somebody was in trouble, he would have been right there — and he was," she said. "He tried to protect these people."
The family is hoping that publicity of the killing will prevent similar attacks.