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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, July 6, 2006

Wild '04 chase ends in prison

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer

A man who stole a car and led police on a chase through Pearl City before running into three officers and getting shot was sentenced to 20 years in prison yesterday.

Under a plea agreement, Thomas Greene pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree assault against a law enforcement officer, one count of attempted first-degree assault, first-degree criminal property damage, first-degree burglary, car theft and promoting a dangerous drug in the third degree.

"It's too easy for people to say this is just a property crime," Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Karlen said. "This case illustrates how wrong that concept is. In this case, when he (Greene) tried to get away, he placed our officers at risk of injury and death. This is not just a property crime."

Circuit Judge Michael Town handed down the sentence.

On Oct. 12, 2004, Greene led police on a chase that ended in Pearl City, at the intersection of Kamehameha Highway and Acacia Road, about 11:14 a.m. It began in Kunia when 18-year-old Randon Pascua reported his 1993 Honda Civic stolen.

Pascua dialed 911 and was reporting the theft when his friend, B.J. Mata, 23, spotted the stolen car and called Pascua on his cell phone.

Mata gave chase in a Dodge Neon and relayed locations to Pascua, who, talking on two phones simultaneously, passed the information on to police. Mata could not keep up with Pascua's modified Honda, but police soon were in pursuit.

Plainclothes officers in the crime reduction unit caught up with the Honda when it slowed in an eastbound lane of Kamehameha Highway near Sam's Club in Pearl City.

An unmarked van forced the Honda to the curb, and officers got out and identified themselves. The suspects tried to turn around at one point driving over the sidewalk near a bus stop rammed a Honda Civic and sideswiped a Ford Ranger pickup driven by a Mililani man.

Six or seven plainclothes police officers surrounded Greene and another man with guns drawn, police said. Greene then started to drive through the officers, police said.

Police at the time said Greene ran over one officer's leg and foot, knocked another into the street and hit or narrowly missed three others. One officer had surgery for back and leg wounds.

One shot was fired and hit Greene in the stomach, who kept driving until he crashed into a marked police cruiser.

Police said they found crystal methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia while searching Greene after the chase.

Reach Peter Boylan at pboylan@honoluluadvertiser.com.