Grover Beach man accused of carjacking near Cal Poly pleads not guilty

Ryan Soqui
Ryan Soqui

A 23-year-old Grover Beach man accused of carjacking and robbing a woman at gunpoint near Cal Poly last week has pleaded not guilty, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Ryan Joseph Soqui entered his plea Thursday to charges of kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking, carjacking and second-degree robbery.

Soqui allegedly approached Yi Tak Choi, 23, who was driving her 2000 Audi A6 at Campus Way and Crandall Way on Nov. 4, according to police.

When she stopped at a stop sign, Soqui allegedly knocked on her front passenger window and asked for directions.

Soqui then got in the car, pulled a gun on her, and forced her to drive to the Wells Fargo branch on Foothill Boulevard, where he told her to withdraw $300 from the ATM, police said.

Once she was out of sight, Choi ran into Nucci's restaurant to ask for help, police said. Soqui reportedly drove away in her vehicle.

Police captured and arrested Soqui on Nov. 6 at the Gaviota Tunnel rest stop in Santa Barbara County.

Soqui is scheduled for a pre-preliminary hearing Dec. 10.