Foiled Check-Cashing Leads to Arrest in Window-Smashing

Times Staff Writer

The man who approached the Cash Unlimited facility in Santa Ana Friday afternoon apparently did not take kindly to being refused service by a teller who told him he needed another reference before his check could be cashed.

He smashed two windows with a hammer, police said.

Santa Ana Police Lt. Jack Nelson said Pedui Kauvaka, 36, approached Cash Unlimited at 1509 N. Main St. at about 4:40 p.m. and tried to cash a check. The facility cashes all types of checks with a minimum of identification for a small fee.

But the teller refused to cash Kauvaka’s and told him to come back with at least a reference as to who he was. Nelson said Kauvaka apparently became angry, departed and then returned with a hammer he used to smash the two front windows.


Nelson said an unidentified witness followed the disgruntled Kauvaka, stopping him a short distance away. The two argued and then Kauvaka allegedly attacked his pursuer with the hammer. The witness threw a rock at Kauvaka, missing him but striking Kauvaka’s car and smashing the windshield.

Still angry, Kauvaka returned to Cash Unlimited. He allegedly assaulted one of four employees and smashed several more windows. Another employee disarmed Kauvaka and hit him on the head with the hammer, police said.

Police arrived and arrested Kauvaka, who was treated at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana for cuts and bruises suffered when he was struck by the hammer, Nelson said.