What would you do if you found $30,000 on the side of the road in a fanny pack? Would you go on a round-the-world vacation, make some home improvements or pay off some credit card debt?
Jonathan Kanuni Viado gave it back, even though he said some people were calling him “crazy” for doing so.
“I wish sometimes I could have (kept it), but it doesn’t seem right,” Viado said.
“It rekindles your faith in the human spirit,” said Kevin Matsunaga, a high school classmate who said he “wanted to tell people about what he (Viado) did.”
Viado works for Esaki Surveying and Mapping, and while doing some work on the Waika’ea Bridge project in Kapa’a Town this Monday, he noticed a fanny-pack laying near the road.
He put it in his work truck and didn’t think to open it up until he and his partner, John Ogle, had to drive to another jobsite. Before driving off, they decided to unzip the bag and figure out who it belonged to.
Instead of finding business cards, receipts and assorted belongings, they saw $50 bills in $5,000 rolls and a stack of $100 bills and other denominations packed inside, along with a Hawaii driver’s license.
“I never saw money like that before…” Viado said.
Ogle then noticed a woman walking along the bridge, apparently looking for something. She was the same woman whose picture was on the license in the bag.
“I believe she was sitting there by the bridge, I remember seeing her earlier in the morning and she must have dropped it at that time,” he added.
Viado said he went over to the woman and asked her what she was looking for, then showed her the bag.
“I’ve been telling people I got a $30,000 hug,” Viado said.
Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 245-3681 (ext. 252).