CLEARFIELD – A Curwensville man has been accused of leading local police on a pursuit while being under the influence and in possession of suspected methamphetamine.
Chancellor Michael Shaw, 24, has been charged by Officer Jon Walker of the Lawrence Township police with felony flight to avoid apprehension, fleeing or attempting to elude an officer and intentional possession of a controlled substance.
He has also been charged with misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person (four counts), unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, DUI and use/possession of drug paraphernalia (five counts) and 11 summaries.
On Wednesday Shaw waived his right to a preliminary hearing during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. His bail is currently set at $100,000 monetary.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, at 3 p.m. March 11, Walker received information about a possible large shipment of drugs coming into the area to a known drug house.
Walker learned that the shipment’s transporters were wanted, along with occupants of the house. The suspects were known to officers who were asked to be on the look-out.
At 5:53 p.m., Officer Elliott Neeper observed two males in a black Chevrolet parked at the rear of the house. He identified a passenger who matched the description of a known wanted male.
The two males traveled by Neeper on Daisy Street Extension. The driver pulled into the Goldenrod branch of CBT Bank and later exited to travel northwest on U.S. Route 322 towards the state Route 879 on-ramp.
Walker and Neeper followed the vehicle onto SR 879 east and were about six cars behind. Walker activated his patrol unit’s overhead lights and siren and passed Neeper’s unit. He was able to get directly behind the black Chevrolet.
The driver pulled slightly off the roadway at Industrial Park Road. However, he re-entered the roadway and allegedly refused to stop his vehicle. Walker obtained his license plate information and provided it to Clearfield County 911.
The driver passed another motorist in the turning lane on SR 879 near McDonald’s, reportedly running them off the roadway. He continued traveling east and reportedly ran another motorist off the roadway near the Sapp Bros. Truck Stop entrance when he swerved into the oncoming lane.
Still traveling east, the driver reportedly passed another motorist on the Shawville-Croft Highway in the “S” curves and nearly collided head-on with an oncoming car in the process.
Walker was able to maintain his pursuit, as the vehicle traveled down towards the Shawville Power Plant at speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. The driver passed another motorist and climbed the hill to head towards Progress Camp Road.
Walker was able to get ahead of the vehicle, and with assistance from Neeper, they were able to box it in. The steep hill slowed the driver’s speeds to 30 to 50 miles per hour.
At that point, the driver allegedly steered his vehicle into the rear of Walker’s patrol unit. Upon impact, it removed the rear bumper and license plate. The driver then tried to pass Walker and struck the rear and side of his patrol unit.
Walker maneuvered his unit into the side of the vehicle, causing it to come to a rest against an embankment on the Clearfield–Shawville Highway.
Both males refused to exit the vehicle, and the driver tried to put it in reverse. Due to the weight of Walker’s patrol unit, the vehicle couldn’t move it backwards.
Both the driver and passenger had to be removed from the vehicle by officers. Both were detained by Walker and checked for weapons; the check yielded three cell phones on the passenger and one on the driver.
The passenger was identified as Romello Weber, 20, of Clearfield and the driver as Shaw. Shaw had warrants out for his arrest and Walker was aware that he had been on the run for quite some time. Weber was also found to be on adult probation.
When Walker looked inside the vehicle, he observed a used needle inside the driver’s side door pocket. A needle cap was observed on the driver’s floor mat. When Walker spoke with Shaw, it was “clear” he was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
Shaw reportedly spoke with slurred speech and couldn’t make clear sentences. He also stared at Walker without blinking. A Pennsylvania State Police Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) was requested and Neeper transported Shaw to the Woodland barracks.
During further inspection of the vehicle, a large box containing new syringes was found in the rear passenger’s seat.
Additionally, two bags contained various items of drug paraphernalia, including glass pipes with burn indications; at the bottom of a bag, there was a loose white crystal material that was suspected methamphetamine, according to the affidavit.
Walker secured the evidence that was found in plain view inside the vehicle, and a towing service was contacted to house it at an impound yard. After Shaw was evaluated by the DRE, Neeper transported him to the hospital for a legal blood draw.
Shaw also agreed to speak with police as part of their investigation. He admitted to smoking crystal methamphetamine all night and to purchasing more at the suspected drug house.
He also indicated that he had a small amount of the drug in a bag that was inside his vehicle, in addition to numerous items of drug paraphernalia.
Shaw was transported to the county jail following his interview, where he was served a warrant against him through the Clearfield County Sheriff’s Department.
Upon further investigation, Walker determined Shaw’s vehicle had been rented by his grandmother. She said Shaw was not permitted to take the vehicle and granted consent for it to be searched by police.
The county’s Adult Probation Department advised Walker that Weber had tested positive for methamphetamine.
On March 13, Walker conducted a search of the vehicle. It turned up a set of digital scales with residue in the center console; in the trunk area was a computer bag and a pocket contained a vial with three individually wrapped crystal rocks, methamphetamine.
The evidence was sent to the Erie Regional Crime Laboratory for further analysis. On March 21, Walker received Shaw’s toxicology report, which showed positive results for the presence of amphetamine, methamphetamine and Alprazolam.