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Homeless man allegedly made racial comments and threats

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A homeless man was arrested after he allegedly made racial comments and threatened visitors with a tire iron Saturday in Lahaina.

Robert Viger, 34, was charged with three counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, four counts of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and fourth-degree criminal property damage.

Viger allegedly “targeted people because of the color of their skin,” making racial comments and epithets, Deputy Prosecutor Byron Fujieda said during Viger’s initial appearance Tuesday in Lahaina District Court, convening in Wailuku.

In addition, Viger allegedly acted violently, Fujieda said.

He said what happened “indicates that he is a clear and present danger to these people of color within our community.”

“When police tried to apprehend him for what he did against the family, he acted also in a violent and aggressive manner,” Fujieda said.

The prosecution asked for bail to be increased from $2,000 to $30,000 for Viger.

He has been on Maui for about two years and has no local address and no verified employment, Fujieda said.

In a pending case, Viger is charged with second-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft.

Deputy Public Defender William Pannell asked for Viger to be released on supervision or to have his bail remain at $2,000.

Judge Chris Dunn set bail at $15,000. He noted that the lower bail amount was set when Viger initially faced misdemeanor charges alleging he assaulted the officers.

If he is released, Viger was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to report for random drug testing. He was ordered to have no contact with the victims, who are from Ontario, Calif.

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