Heroin addict claimed to be overdosing when captured after high-speed chase

Shortly after crashing the stolen car he was driving on Rose Valley Road in Hepburn Township, 20-year-old fugitive Zachary Schreiber was nabbed late Monday afternoon near a cornfield, according to state police.

The apprehension occurred following a brief high-speed pursuit that began shortly after state police received a report that Schreiber was believed to be at a home on nearby Pleasant Valley Road and that he was “heavily under the influence of heroin,” Trooper Edward Dammer said in an affidavit.

When troopers arrived in the area shortly before 5 p.m., they learned that Schreiber already had left in a green Ford Escort that turned out to be stolen.

As Dammer and his on-duty partner, Cpl. Derron Farber, were traveling north on Rose Valley Road, they spotted a vehicle that looked like the Escort parked in a driveway.

Dammer quickly turned around and, as he approached the driveway a second time, he saw the Escort heading south at a very high rate of speed.

When the trooper activated his cruiser’s emergency lights and siren, the car “did not stop, but accelerated,” Dammer said in the affidavit.

As another officer laid out “stop sticks” at the intersection of Pleasant Valley and Rose Valley roads, a third used his cruiser to block the road is an attempt to prevent the driver from going further.

However, the driver, later identified as Schreiber, swerved at the last minute and crashed into a field after going over the stop sticks, Dammer said.

Schreiber jumped out but soon was caught. He was wanted by Old Lycoming Township police for allegedly burglarizing the Road Knights clubhouse in the 300 block of Haleeka Road in Hepburn Township and stealing cash and alcoholic beverages on Oct. 1.

Upon his capture, Schreiber, of 460 Susquehanna Drive, Jersey Shore, told police he thought he was overdosing on heroin, Dammer said.

“He told us that he had used four bags (of heroin) within the last hour. He showed signs of being under the influence of heroin. He did vomit several times,” the trooper said. Schreiber was taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

Upon being discharged from the hospital late Monday night, he was arraigned before District Judge James Carn on numerous charges including fleeing police, recklessly endangering, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, driving under the influence of a controlled substance and eight summary traffic violations.

Schreiber, who carried a second address in the 100 block of North Broad Street in Jersey Shore, also was charged with burglary-related offenses for the break-in in Hepburn Township. Already on probation for burglary, Schreiber was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.