Bail remains at $10,000 for man charged in robbery

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A judge kept bail at $10,000 for a man who had been released from jail on supervision four days before he was arrested during a confrontation with security officers at Macy’s.

Preston Latu, 28, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree robbery.

He reportedly struggled with a store security officer who stopped Latu after he left the store at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center without paying for four pairs of board shorts he was wearing under his jeans the night of Nov. 4.

On Tuesday, Latu asked to be released again on supervision.

After being released on supervision Oct. 31 in an unrelated theft and stolen-vehicle case in Lahaina, Latu had been working on getting his life in order, his attorneys said.

“When granted supervised release on his previous case, he followed every direction the court gave him,” said Deputy Public Defender Heather Brown.

She said Latu had reported for supervision, had gone to the public defender’s office and had been working on getting housing and substance abuse treatment.

Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill said, “the fact that he’s got a new charge might suggest that he hasn’t been in full compliance with what the court previously ordered.”

Deputy Prosecutor Kenton Werk noted that when Latu was previously granted supervised release, he told the court, “this is one minor setback for one major comeback.”

“Apparently, what he meant was a comeback to his criminal activity,” Werk said. “Four days later, he was robbing and violently beating a Macy’s employee to steal their merchandise.”

Werk asked that bail be increased to $20,000 because of the danger Latu poses to the community.

Brown said surveillance video showed that Latu “got immediately tackled by a much bigger man” at Macy’s.

Cahill kept Latu’s bail at $10,000, saying, “Football should be played on a field, not at Macy’s.”