Kaneakua Has Multiple Previous Convictions Of Assault, Is Banned From Having Tear Gas CompoundsBy WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 40-year-old Minneapolis man with a lengthy criminal history faces charges accusing him of assaulting four separate victims — including pepper spraying one of the victims — in a span of 20 minutes in Richfield Tuesday.

According to charges filed Thursday in Hennepin County, Justin Kaneakua faces third-degree assault and being a convict in possession of tear gas, which are both felonies. He also faces three counts of fifth-degree assault, which is a gross misdemeanor.

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Justin Kaneakua (credit: Hennepin County)

The complaint says Richfield police officers responded to assault reports from four separate victims. The assaults happened between 7:55 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Criminal Complaint Details:

FIRST INCIDENT: Kaneakua allegedly threw an object at a female victim at a Walgreens after calling her a “f—— b—-.” The object hit the victim in the face and shoulder.

SECOND INCIDENT: Outside of Woodlake Allina Clinic, Kaneakua allegedly threw an object at an elderly man’s vehicle windshield, causing “significant damage.” He then punched the victim, who had exited the vehicle. Kaneakua also sprayed the victim with pepper spray. The victim suffered a concussion after hitting his head when he fell.

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THIRD INCIDENT: Near Richfield Lake, Kaneakua allegedly went up to a person who was walking and asked them “what the f— are you looking at?” The victim said they were just saying hello and Kaneakua allegedly then punched the victim, knocking the person to the ground.

FOURTH INCIDENT: Also at Richfield Lake, a victim reported that Kaneakua allegedly rode up next to them, extended his arm and slapped the victim in the face as he rode by.

In each of the incidents, Kaneakua fled the area on his bike. Police later located him near 63rd Street West and Dupont Avenue South. He fled officers by hopping a fence and running through backyards, but was found hiding behind garbage cans near the 6300 block of Bryant Avenue South.

Kaneakua has prior convictions for crimes of violence, prohibiting him from having any tear gas compound, like pepper spray. His convictions include simple robbery in 2019 and third-degree assault in 2013 and 2020.

In addition to prior convictions, he has several open cases for “assaultive behaviors” in Hennepin County, including charges of assault and interference with a transit operator. He also has other open criminal cases in other counties. Due to his continued violent behavior, prosecutors are “requesting a high bail to ensure public safety,” the complaint said.

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If convicted, Kaneakua could face up to 5 years in prison on the third-degree assault charge alone.