A Coaldale man faces drug charges after running into the woods on Monday when he spied a police officer.

Jonathan Whately, 20, of 220 Fisher Ave., faces charges of possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed with District Judge Stephen Bayer of Tamaqua by Coaldale Officer Charles Andrew Blesse, he was on patrol at about 1:47 a.m. when he saw a group of people walking in the area of First Street and East Moser Avenue. As Blesse made a right to turn west onto Moser he saw one of the men take off running into the woods. As Blesse approached the group, he could see the man in the woods and told him to come back down.

Blesse asked the people what they were doing and where they were going. They said they were out for a walk.

Blesse called Officer Scott Cramer to assist and when he arrived asked him to watch the four people while Blesse went into the woods to look around.

He found a blue backpack and looked inside. There were two pipes used for smoking marijuana and a small amount of green vegetable matter in a clear sandwich bag.

Blesse asked the four if it belonged to any of them. Whately said it was his bag.

Blesse arrested Whately who told Blesse he had run into the woods when he saw the patrol car come around the corner and then dumped his backpack, thinking Blesse wouldn't find it, so he wouldn't get into trouble.