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Suspect in Pali high-speed chase appears in court

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:21 a.m. HST, Oct 20, 2010

 Prosecutors charged a 24-year-old Waipahu man arrested after a high-speed Pali Highway chase Monday night with driving a stolen car.

Romeo Padilla Jr. appeared in District Court this morning to face the charge and was being held on $50,000 bail.

Police said Padilla could still be charged with other counts including reckless driving and failure to stop.

Court records show Padilla was on probation after his conviction last year on two counts of driving a stolen vehicle.

Police said Padilla lost control of a blue 1994 Honda Accord he allegedly stole and caused a multiple car accident on the Pali Highway. a 53-year-old Honolulu man driving a white 2007 Toyota Corolla was seriously injured in the crash.

Police tried to stop Padilla Monday night near the Kailua Safeway market on Hamakua drive, but he fled. Two police cars chased Padilla over the Pali Highway on wet roads. Padilla lost control of the Honda near Wood Road in Nuuanu and hit the rear of the Corolla which flipped on its side and hit a traffic signal and a light pole.

Padilla and a female passenger fled the accident scene on foot. 

One of the police cars chasing Padilla rear-ended the other pursuing police vehicle, which hit the Honda Accord.

 A red 2002 Honda CRV, which swerved to avoid the crash, was hit by the falling light pole.

Police captured Padilla at the scene, but the woman got away. He was treated for minor injuries and arrested. 

Portions of the Honolulu-bound lanes of the Pali Highway were closed for nearly 4 hours following the 7 p.m. crashes.

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