Man spends nearly six months in jail for stolen moped chase

WAILUKU — A man who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he fled from police on a stolen moped, ending up in a backyard pool, was released Sept. 13 after spending nearly six months in jail.

Jason Pua, 46, of Wailuku was placed on four years’ probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

He was arrested March 21 after a police officer saw Pua operating a moped that had a tail light out as it traveled on Waiehu Beach Road.

The officer tried to stop the moped, but Pua continued on, heading toward Waiehu as he was chased by police, 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo noted.

“You end up in someone’s backyard,” Loo said to Pua. “You launch yourself into someone’s swimming pool.

“Luckily, you float. The moped didn’t.”

She said police reported finding methamphetamine and a smoking pipe in Pua’s pocket, but the drug couldn’t be tested because it was wet.

Loo said Pua would have known the moped was stolen because it was damaged so it could be started without a key. Pua admitted he had been driving under the influence of alcohol, methamphetamine and marijuana, according to police.

Pua had pleaded no contest to unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, fourth-degree criminal property damage, disobedience to police officers, driving without a license and driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

In sentencing Pua, Loo followed a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution that recommended probation.

When Loo said it appeared Pua hadn’t had a driver’s license for a long time, Pua said, “I never did have a license.”

“No license, no driving, no moped-stealing, no nothing,” Loo told Pua.

Pua was ordered to pay a $150 fine and fees. He also was ordered to write a letter apologizing to the moped owner.