East Penn Press

Monday, May 28, 2018

A Pottsville man is a suspect in a chase punctuated by a shot fired by police

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 by APRIL PETERSON apeterson@tnonline.com in Police Log

A Pottsville man is a suspect in a high speed car chase ending in an area mall parking lot with a single shot fired by state police.

Brian Chapman was named by Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Kirk R. Vanim in a telephone call April 30 as the driver who allegedly led police on a car chase ending in a front parking lot at Kohl's Department Store, Hamilton Boulevard, Trexlertown. The event, as of April 30, was described by Vanim as "still under active investigation."

Debbie Garlicki, a spokesperson for the Office of the Lehigh County District Attorney, told The Press no charges were filed in the case as of April 30. The case, however, was to be handled through the county's Auto Theft Task Force.

According to a press release from Pennsylvania State Police Lehigh County authorities notified troopers around 3:30 p.m. April 26 Emmaus police were pursuing a vehicle reported as stolen from Allentown.

In a telephone message to The Press, an Emmaus police spokesperson noted an Emmaus officer saw a vehicle run a stop sign at high rate of speed at Second and Harrison streets in the borough the afternoon of April 26. The officer gave chase, realized it was the vehicle reported stolen from Allentown and notified the county.

In an email to The Press an eyewitness to the chase wrote he was driving on Lower Macungie Road, near the intersection with Brookside Road, when a vehicle, estimated as driving more than 60 mph, passed him "in the other lane despite an oncoming car. He missed that car and me by a foot or two."

Two police vehicles then passed the witness.

According to the state police, troopers joined the pursuit in Lower Macungie Township. The eyewitness reported seeing additional police vehicles.

The assumed stolen vehicle, described as a white pickup truck by police, crashed in the mall parking lot, according to police and the eyewitness. The crash, wrote the witness, uprooted a tree and the truck's airbag opened.

The driver fled on foot, according to police. Emmaus police and two state troopers pursued on foot and the driver was taken into custody in the parking lot.

A trooper did fire one shot during the incident, State Police Trooper Vanim confirmed by telephone.

According to the eyewitness, the crash, foot chase and apprehension lasted about a minute.

No one was injured, according to police.