Five years for prank

LIHUE — Playing a prank and then fracturing a police officer’s finger landed a Koloa man in prison for five years on Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court.

Glenn Mark Mislang Bisarra, 31, of Koloa, was brought into the court in custody to be sentenced for felony second-degree assault. He was arrested for skipping his sentencing hearing earlier this month and was held on $100,000 bail.

Bisarra said it was a cowardly action on his part to skip his sentencing. He said it was upsetting to serve another five-year prison term for what he felt was a not a felony ordeal.

“That is still no excuse and I apologize to the court,” Bisarra said.

“That is not what I expected to hear,” said Judge Kathleen Watanabe. “I appreciate your honesty.”

The original charges were two felonies and a misdemeanor, and the plea deal reduced on felony charge, Watanabe said. Without it the court could have sentenced from 10 to 20 years.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Shauna Lee Cahill said the incident was “a snowball effect” with one bad decision that was compounded with several more bad choices.

In August 2009, the defendant was a passenger in a vehicle and shined a laser pointer at a police officer. Believing it might have been a weapon, the officer pursued the vehicle and backup soon arrived.

Bisarra refused to unlock his door or roll down the window, Cahill said. He swore at the officers and tried to convince the driver to flee the scene.

An officer managed pulled Bisarra through the window onto the ground. He tried to flee and the officer fractured a finger to keep him in custody.

The second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer was reduced to a misdemeanor and Bisarra was sentenced on the underlying assault charge. A second-degree escape charge was also dismissed.

Cahill said that Bisarra refused to cooperate with probation and skipped pre-sentence interviews that would have aided the court in sentencing. She recommended a five-year prison term noting a poor performance record on probation.

The defendant has a previous five-year prison term after losing his probation for a felony drug charge, she said. He also has misdemeanor convictions including harassment, driving without a license and criminal property damage and criminal contempt of court.

Court-appointed defense attorney Scott Kessinger said the defendant has a criminal history but has not had a conviction since a revocation of probation in 2005. He asked for probation, saying that a positive performance on probation awaiting sentencing and his 171 days already served at Kauai Community Correctional Center while awaiting trial.

“He has shown an ability and willingness to follow the rules,” Kessinger said.

“Do you have a problem with authority?” Watanabe asked Bisarra.

The court granted credit for time already served. As part of the plea agreement, charges of first and second degree burglary and theft in another case will be dismissed.

County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar thanked the police officers who work hard each day and willingly place themselves in harm’s way while working to make our community safer.

“Prison is an appropriate sentence in Mr. Bisarra’s case,” Kollar said. “His actions created a very dangerous situation, and it is fortunate that more serious injuries did not result to him or to either of the responding police officers.”

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