One of two men arrested in Tamaqua following a high-speed chase Sunday night from Tamaqua, through Coaldale and Lansford, and into Nesquehoning, was arraigned yesterday in Carbon County on related charges.
Jose William Nunez, who turned 19 on Thursday, and who lists a Hazleton address, was charged with ramming a 2000 Ford Mustang into the Nesquehoning police cruiser while a patrolman was in the police car.
Nunez was arraigned before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek of Lansford, who set bail at $500,000. Earlier this week, District Judge Stephen Bayer of Tamaqua had set bail at $100,000 for the defendant.
The charges Nunez faces in Carbon County are fleeing or attempting to elude police officer, two counts of aggravated assault, all felonies; and recklessly endangering another person, a misdemeanor.
He told Judge Kosciolek that he has no driver's license. He also said he has lived in Hazleton for only about six months and that he grew up in Newark, N.J.
Nunez was arrested after Tamaqua police, who had increased patrols due to a series of armed robberies in Schuylkill County, spotted the Mustang that Nunez was allegedly driving and a chase ensued.
Nunez was asked by reporters during his exit from Kosciolek's office if he was involved in the burglaries. He stated he wasn't.
The affidavit on the Carbon charges, filed by Nesquehoning Chief of Police Sean T. Smith, stated that the cruiser allegedly struck by Nunez was operated by patrolman Carl Breiner.
Breiner advised the police chief that the Tamaqua police department had been pursuing the Mustang "and the pursuit ended when the driver of the suspect vehicle rammed Officer Breiner's patrol vehicle."
Breiner also informed the police chief that the suspect vehicle "also ran two vehicles off the road on State Route 209 and went through the stop sign at State Route 209 and State Route 54."
The affidavit alleges that the pursuit reached speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour.
There were reportedly three other individuals in the Nunez vehicle.
In Schuylkill County, Nunez is facing charges of receiving stolen property, possessing a firearm without the required license, fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, reckless driving, careless driving, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without insurance, driving without a valid inspection, following too closely, and driving without an operator's license.
The front seat passenger, Tysheed Laron Hargrove, 18, who said he had no permanent address, was also placed under arrest. He was charged with receiving stolen property and possessing a firearm without the required license.
The two back seat passengers have not been charged. They were taken into custody, questioned, and then released.