Suspect shot after police pursuit involving bank checks
The scene in Franklin Township where a suspect was wounded by an officer after a 17-mile chase. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
The driver of a white Chrysler minivan led police on a chase from Beaver Meadows to Franklin Township Tuesday evening. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Pennsylvania State Police at the Hazleton barracks are investigating an officer-involved shooting Tuesday night after a countywide chase that ended in Franklin Township.
The incident, which centered around stolen blank bank checks, began in Beaver Meadows shortly after 5 p.m.
The driver of a white van led police on a high-speed chase, reportedly as high as 100 mph as they drove south on Route 93 then north on Route 209 through Jim Thorpe and Lehighton.
The incident traversed 17 miles and lasted about 15 minutes as the driver passed through Nesquehoning, Jim Thorpe, Lehighton and Weissport before the vehicle became disabled just outside of Weissport on Interchange Road near Court Street in Franklin Township.
According to state police at Lehighton, a single gunshot was fired when the vehicle was stopped in Franklin Township and an occupant of the van was struck.
A helicopter landed at Phifer’s ice dam park to transport the victim, whose condition is unknown.
Route 209 was closed in both directions at Route 248 during the investigation.
Officers described details of the chase on police radio as dispatchers called out additional units from the southern part of the county.
The driver drove several vehicles off the road and passed many more by crossing the double yellow line.
The chase proceeded through Jim Thorpe and Lehighton. An officer deployed spike strips near the Dunkin’ Donuts in Lehighton.
The vehicle continued with three flat tires onto Interchange Road.
EMS units were dispatched to Interchange Road and Bank Street in Lehighton for injuries.
After the pursuit, police discovered 11 blank bank checks discarded along Route 93. The checks were reported stolen to the Mayfield Police Department on Dec. 16.
Four people from Florida who were involved in the chase were arraigned at District Justice Joseph Homanko’s office this morning on charges of receiving stolen property. Charged were: Creshaun Demetrick Caldwell, Mitchell Lawrence Knight, Cedric Lamont Cason and Tyrone Wesley Parker Jr. Bail was set at between $50,000 and $100,000 for the suspects. Homanko ordered them to wear an ankle monitor.
State police said an updated press release would be issued later today.