Waipahu man gets 20 years
The 20-year-old had rammed police in a getaway attempt
A Waipahu man who rammed a stolen car into police officers and several vehicles to elude capture and ended up getting shot by police at a busy Pearl City intersection was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison.
Thomas "Wes" Greene, who faced life without the possibility of parole, pleaded guilty in April under a plea agreement to reduced charges, including first-degree attempted assault and first-degree assault against a law enforcement officer.
Greene and stepbrother Randy Garcia were riding in a car they had stolen from a carport in Village Park in October 2004 when a friend of the car's owner spotted them and called the owner and police. After a brief chase, police cornered and surrounded the car at Acacia Road and Kamehameha Highway.
But as officers approached on foot, Greene began reversing and pulling forward to get away and drove head-on into a police car, forcing the officers to dive out of the way. At least three officers suffered injuries when they were hit.
Officer Shane Williams is thankful he was able to return to work after injuring his leg and back in the incident, requiring surgery.
During emotional testimony, he talked about taking the oath to protect and serve even if it meant possibly losing his life. He said the experience had a profound effect on him and his family.
Greene, now 20, apologized to the officers and their families.
Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Karlen asked the court to follow the plea agreement, noting that Greene was arrested for another auto theft just 13 days after he pleaded guilty to the Oct. 13 auto theft and assault.
At 18, Greene had so many things going for him, including a family who cared and a young daughter, but his response was to commit property crimes and possess crystal methamphetamine, Karlen said.
The community's concerns about these crimes was justified in that Greene's conduct escalated and officers who are entrusted to protect and serve were put in grave danger just because Greene wanted to get away, Karlen said.
"It's troubling that at such a young age, he did such violations," Karlen said.