homepage logo

Theft suspect chased across county line

By Staff | Nov 17, 2009

HUGHESVILLE – A motorist who took borough police on a 25-mile high-speed chase in a stolen van early Saturday morning was nabbed in Columbia County only after a officer rammed his cruiser into the fleeing vehicle, according to borough Patrolman Kurt Hockman.

The pursuit involving Nathan Thomas Swank, 19, of Catawissa ended safely on Melick Hollow Road in Mount Pleasant Township, about five miles south of Millville, after Patrolman Michael Palmeter rammed the Dodge Caravan Swank was driving.

The pursuit began in 100 block of South Main Street about 1:20 a.m. when an officer attempted to stop Swank because it was believed that he was driving under the influence, Hockman said.

During the chase, Swank rammed a Muncy police cruiser driven by Patrolman Anthony Oeler on Route 405 in Wolf Township, Hockman said. As the pursuit continued west on Route 442 through several townships and into Columbia County, Swank was traveling in excess of 80 mph.

The teenage suspect traveled at speeds of 70 mph through the borough of Millville, Hockman said.

It turned out that the van was stolen from John King of 7 N. Main St., of Picture Rocks, but King had not yet reported the theft to police, Hockman said.

Once he was captured, Swank was arraigned before District Judge Allen P. Page III on charges of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering, theft, receiving stolen property, driving under the influence of intoxicants, underage drinking and three other summary violations. He was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $20,000.