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Man crashes stolen car, flees from scene

A Lehigh County man is behind bars after crashing a stolen car and then fleeing the scene.

Jared Martnick, 33, of the 600 block of Wyandotte Street, faces charges on one count each of receiving stolen property; DUI, high rate of alcohol; DUI, general impairment; driving without a license; accidents involving damage to unattended vehicle or property; and driving on roadways laned for traffic.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by officer Dean Heffelfinger of the Walnutport Borough Police Department:

At 10:11 p.m. June 29, Heffelfinger and officer Nicholas Hartman were dispatched to the area of North Best Avenue and Old Main Street for reports of a motor vehicle crash.

While en route, radio dispatchers said that the male driver was running from the scene. He was described as a dark-skinned male wearing a gray T-shirt.

Police saw the crashed vehicle with severe damage. Debris was all over the roadway from the vehicle, which left the northbound travel lane and hit a telephone pole, traffic light and a grass embankment in front of the Taco Bell.

Heffelfinger immediately began searching for the man who was seen running east on Old Main Street.

The emergency dispatcher advised that the vehicle involved in the crash was reported stolen in Catasauqua.

After a short time of searching, a homeowner saw him and alerted him.

Heffelfinger then ran to where the homeowner was and he, along with officer Frank Gnas of the Slatington Police Department, and officer Craig Ball of the Lehigh Township Police Department, found a man lying on the ground hiding in the bushes matching the description of the man who ran from the scene.

Martnick told police he did something really bad and that he was just trying to go see a girl in Lehighton.

Martnick had a hard time getting up, and had a heavy odor of alcohol omitting from his body and breath. He also had blood shot glassy eyes, and his speech was slurred that it was hard to understand him.

Heffelfinger asked Martnick and he told him. Heffelfinger ran his name and it came back with an expired driver’s license.

When EMS arrived, they walked Martnick to the ambulance, because he couldn’t stand or walk on his own, or he would fall.

Martnick was then transported by EMS to Lehigh Valley Hospital — Cedar Crest.

He is currently incarcerated in Northampton County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Martnick is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. July 13 before District Judge Robert Hawke of Walnutport.