WAILUKU - When he gave someone else's name to try to avoid being arrested during a traffic stop in Upcountry, a man ended up in more trouble, 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen said.
On Wednesday, he sentenced Televise Sau to a five-year prison term for possessing drugs and a live grenade.
As a repeat offender, Sau, 42, of Wailuku was ordered to serve at least one year and eight months of the term before being eligible for parole.
While his wife and brother asked for leniency for Sau, Bissen said the prison sentence was required under the law. Sau also had agreed to the prison term as part of a plea agreement, Bissen noted.
Sau was arrested at about 9:30 a.m. April 26 when Wailuku patrol officer Duke Pua made a traffic stop on a vehicle at Haleakala Highway and Makani Road.
While Pua talked to the driver, a woman who didn't have a driver's license, officer Martell Irish had police dispatch check on the name given by Sau, who was among four passengers, including three other women, in the vehicle.
Learning there was a warrant for the arrest of the man Sau was claiming to be, Irish ordered Sau out of the car. He pushed the officer and ran, with officers chasing Sau and using a Taser to subdue him.
Police obtained permission to search the vehicle, finding a backpack on the floor in the back seat where Sau had been sitting. Through a tear in the top of the backpack, Pua could see the grenade, according to police.
An Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit from Oahu was called to secure and detonate the World War II-era grenade, police said.
Police learned that the man in the vehicle was Sau, who didn't have a warrant for his arrest but had given the name of a relative who did.
"That's the biggest irony of this case - somebody trying to get out of trouble that actually gave the name of somebody in trouble," Bissen said.
Sau said he didn't give his real name because he was on probation.
"If you had just told the police your real name, I don't think you would have even been arrested," Bissen told Sau. "But of all the names in the world you could come up with, you came up with the name of somebody the police were actually looking for. They had a bench warrant for his arrest. That's who they thought you were."
By having the live hand grenade, Sau endangered the community, Bissen said.
Sau had pleaded no contest to ownership or possession of a prohibited firearm, second-degree escape, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.
His probation was revoked for third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia, and he was sentenced to a five-year prison term to be served at the same time as his latest case.
Bissen said Sau's criminal history includes 66 arrests and 22 convictions, including 14 for felony offenses.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.