A 25-year-old driver tried to rob two hitchhikers Friday near Soldotna, clubbing the men when they showed him an empty wallet, troopers said.
Travis Lee McHone of Sterling gave the hitchhikers a ride from a convenience store on Kalifornsky Beach Road. At some point he demanded money, according to a trooper report.
The hitchhikers paid McHone but he then asked for more cash, said Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. McHone became angry when the men said they had no more to give, she said.
"(McHone) pulled something out from under his seat and started hitting them with it, some kind of stick," Peters said.
A trooper report described the weapon as a club. Troopers have not publicly identified the hitchhikers and Peters said she did not know their names, hometowns or where they were traveling.
One of the men fought back, the spokeswoman said.
"They overpowered him finally by putting him in, like, a chokehold," Peters said. "They forced him to pull over and they jumped out."
The men left some of their belongings in the pickup, including groceries and possibly a phone. They reported the encounter to police at about 9:30 p.m., according to the trooper account.
Troopers found McHone and the truck described by the hitchhikers near Anchor Point. McHone was questioned and booked into Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward on charges of robbery, second-degree kidnapping, third-degree assault and evidence tampering.
McHone is also facing charges of fourth-degree assault and violating conditions of his release in an unrelated case filed March 6 in Kenai, court records show.