Former FOW Accused of Fleeing from Police Waives Hearing

DuBOIS – A former Fugitive of the Week charged with fleeing from police waived his right to a preliminary hearing during Centralized Court.

Damien Lee Irvin, 34, 4774 Rt. 322, Reynoldsville, an inmate of the jail, is charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, two counts of recklessly endangering another person and several summaries. In a second case, he is charged with three counts of criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

Irvin’s trouble with police started after a warrant was issued for him for failing to appear in court for contempt of court charges filed because he violated a protection from abuse order. According to court documents, Irvin was supposed to be in court Sept. 24.  That day Irvin called the victim and left a message on her phone stating, “Please call me back. Drop the PFA. I want to be civil for the kids.” He also sent text messages to her several times that day. She fled to another county because she was concerned for her safety.

On Oct. 14, police were dispatched to the DuBois Nursing Home to investigate a report about a man who was breaking windows out of a vehicle. According to the affidavit of probable cause in the fleeing case, an employee of the business was on break when she observed a man park his truck and exit it with a knife in his hand. He began slicing the tires on a vehicle and then went back to his vehicle, where he removed an axe, which he used to break the windows, headlights and turn signals. He got back into his vehicle and left but returned, backing directly into the rear of the vehicle, causing more damage. The description she gave police of the man matched Irvin. The damaged vehicle was registered to Irvin and the woman who has a PFA against him.

As officers arrived on the scene, they observed the truck described in the crime, as it was being driven out of the lot. The truck accelerated to 70 miles per hour onto South Eighth Street. The officers activated their lights and tried to stop the vehicle. It continued traveling in a very erratic manner. The officers followed it as it accelerated up to 100 mph. They saw it travel into the other lane multiple times while on U.S. Route 322.

They crossed into Henderson Township in Jefferson County and traveled toward Reynoldsville. It passed another vehicle in a no passing zone at a high rate of speed before turning left onto Big Run-Prescotville Road. Irvin turned the headlights off in an attempt to avoid identification.

After a short distance, the lights came back on and the pursuit continued, as the vehicle traveled in a reckless manner. They went onto Himes Hill Road, through a small creek and through a yard. The vehicle spun sideways allowing the police car’s headlights to shine into the vehicle, where the officer was able to positively identify Irvin. Shortly after the vehicle made a left onto state Route 310 toward Punxsutawney, the police lost it. A search was made of the area, but the vehicle was not found. Officers then went to Irvin’s last known address, but he was not there. The total mileage of the chase was 22.08 miles.

Also on Oct. 14, police were contacted by the victim who reported that she had received a message from Irvin through Facebook. She then removed him from her Facebook. The attack on her vehicle was believed to be in retaliation for this action.

The criminal mischief case dates back to June 4 in Sandy Township after Irvin stopped near the victim’s father’s home and spun his tires. This caused the gravel in a parking lot to strike his vehicle, as well as the victim’s vehicle and a neighbor’s vehicle.

The neighbor told police she was in her vehicle parked in front of her residence when the incident occurred. She saw the operator of the truck stop in the parking lot, spin the tires, begin to drive away, stop and then spin the tires again. She said she had to quickly roll up her car window as rocks and dust covered her car. Damage to two of the vehicles was more than $5,000.

Shortly after Irvin was named “Fugitive of the Week” last week in Clearfield County, he was apprehended at a residence in Rathmel, according to a press release from the District Attorney’s office.

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