District judges busy handling numerous DUI and other criminal cases
A brief high-speed pursuit through Loyalsock Township with state police late Thursday night ended when motorist Wykir Richardson lost control of his 2021 Toyota Rav4, which jumped the curb and struck a guardrail at Four Mile Drive and Warran Avenue, according to court records.
Richardson, 19, of Penn Hills, Allegheny County, bailed out of the SUV and took off running as did his two passengers, but all three were quickly nabbed, police said.
One passenger, not identified in court papers, was taken by ambulance to UPMC Williamsport to be treated for injuries he suffered in the 11:30 p.m. crash.
The pursuit began on Westminster Drive after Trooper Anthony Mazzone spotted Richardson traveling an “extremely high rate of speed,” according to an affidavit.
As the trooper tried to catch up with him, the driver “made numerous turns in an attempt to elude” Mazzone, police said. Richardson refused to stop for the trooper and continued to travel at a very fast rate before crashing on Warren Avenue.
The driver said “he fled and ran because he was scared,” Mazzone said, adding that Richardson admitted to smoking marijuana an hour before getting behind the wheel. The trooper said in a criminal complaint he suspected that Richardson was “under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs.” Richardson submitted a blood sample, but the results were not expected to be known for several weeks.
Arraigned before District Judge William Solomon on charges of DUI, felony eluding police, felony flight to avoid apprehension, recklessly endangering, accidents involving death or personal injury, accidents involving damage to attended property (hit-run) and careless driving, Richardson was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.
In another case, motorist Mark Woodhead, 41, of 114 Chadlee Drive, South Williamsport, was charged with DUI and careless driving after his involvement in a two-vehicle crash on North Main Street in Muncy Creek Township about 1:45 p.m. on Feb. 4, state police said.
While undergoing a series of field sobriety tests, Woodhead showed signs of impairment, police said, adding that he admitted to having three beers earlier in the morning. Woodhead, who had a blood-alcohol content level of .16, has been sent a summons to appear before a district judge.
In another case, motorist Lamont Harper, 24, of 2335 Linn St., was pulled over in the area of West Fourth and Arch streets in the city on July 26 after a state trooper learned that the license plate on his 2015 Nissan had expired months earlier, according to court records.
“There was a strong odor of processed marijuana coming from the vehicle,” the trooper said, adding that Harper’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy. The driver admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day and drinking “a cooler,” the trooper said.
Harper admitted that marijuana found in the vehicle was his, police said. A blood test confirmed there was marijuana in his system at the time. Charged with DUI of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, Harper is free on bail.
Another motorist charged with DUI of marijuana was Averill Martin, 24, of 2128 Federal Ave., who was stopped by a state trooper near West Fourth and Maynard streets in the city on July 26 because the tinted windows on his 2020 Toyota Camry were illegal, according to court records.
Like in Harper’s case, the trooper detected “a strong odor of processed marijuana from inside the car,” court records stated. There also was marijuana and drug paraphernalia discovered in the vehicle, police said. A blood test confirmed there was marijuana in Martin’s system, police added.
In addition to the DUI offense, Martin was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He too is free on bail.
In another case, responding to a report of a possible intoxicated driver in the 400 block of Stevens Street about 4:45 p.m. on Oct. 9, city police found Joseph Dwyer, 57, of 1620 W. Fourth St., asleep behind the wheel of his 2017 Ford Escape, but the engine was still running and the vehicle was in drive while parked along the side of the road, according to court records.
There was a strong odor of alcohol coming from him, and he nearly fell over when he got out of the car, police said, so standard field sobriety tests were not done. Charged with DUI and careless driving, Dwyer, who refused to submit a blood sample, is free on bail.
In another case, motorist Matthew Miller, 29, of 394 Route 973 West , Cogan Station, also refused to submit a blood sample after a state trooper stopped his Kia Spectrum near High Street and Rural Avenue in the city about 9 p.m. on Sept. 18 because the lights on the vehicle were not functioning and also the license plate did not match the car’s registration, according to court records.
After Miller completed a series of field sobriety tests, the trooper suspected that there was “a high probability that he was under the influence of a controlled substance,” court records stated. He refused to submit to a blood test, police said, Charged with DUI, he is free on bail.
In another case, motorist Andrew McDonald, 35, of 1907 Memorial Ave., pulled over by city police for speeding in his 2013 Honda Pilot on Interstate 180 about 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 17, admitted to drinking four beers and a shot, and told the officer “I made a terrible mistake,” according to court records.
The officer said McDonald’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and that there was “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath.” In an affidavit, there was no mention on whether McDonald submitted a blood sample. Charged with DUI, McDonald is free on bail. Police said this was his second DUI arrest.
In another case, Rory Soha, 36, of 1160 Rural Ave., had a blood-alcohol content level of .27, when state police stopped his 2016 Jeep Cherokee in the area of Rural Avenue and Campbell Street in the city about 12:10 a.m. on June 21, according to court records. Police stopped the driver because he made “too wide of turn” at Washington Boulevard and Market Street.
Moments after the stop, the trooper detected an odor of alcohol coming from Soha and the vehicle, court records stated. Charged with DUI and careless driving, Soha is free on bail.
In another case, motorist Malik Fields, 26, Philadelphia, was found to be under the influence of marijuana and alprazolam on the afternoon of Sept. 19 when city police stopped his 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt in the area of the 400 block of Campbell Street, court records stated.
Police said they pulled Fields over after they saw him fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. In addition to being charged with DUI of controlled substances, he also was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is free on bail.
Williamsport man faces pornography charges
Timothy Wayne Chrisenberry, 53, of 427 Cemetery St., has been charged by the state Attorney General’s Office with 49 felony counts of possession of pornography and one felony count of illegal use of communications equipment, according to court records filed at the office of District Judge Christian Frey.
“Chrisenberry did possess at least 25 visual images or videos or similar representations depicting children in a state of nudity for the purposes of sexual arousal or gratification or sexual activity,” Agent Brittany Lauck alleged in a criminal complaint filed last week.
The investigation began more than a year ago when child pornography images on a computer drive were traced back to an account allegedly in Chrisenberry’s name and home, the agent said.
A search warrant for Chrisenberry’s second-floor apartment was filed and approved last Wednesday and the warrant was soon executed at his home. All devices, including a desktop computer, and iPad tablet and cellphone were reportedly seized.
Following his arraignment, Chrisenberry was jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail. Frey ordered that in the event he was released from prison, Chrisenberry was to have no access to the internet and he was prohibited from having any unsupervised contact with minors.
Two charged with
Ashley Ruggiers, 34, and Michael Harris, 35, both of Mill Hall, have been charged with conspiracy to commit shoplifting and receiving stolen property for allegedly stealing $1,030 worth of merchandise from Target at Lycoming Crossing on Feb. 6, according to court records filed by Muncy Township police at the office of District Judge Jon E. Kemp.
Ruggiers faces an additional charge of felony shoplifting, police said. Both she and Harris were arraigned late last week and released on $25,000 bail each.
Drug charges lodged against Old Lycoming Township man
John Nields, 26, of 2246 Fox St., has been charged by state police with possession of two bags of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia on Fox Street in Old Lycoming Township on July 8, according to court records filed at Solomon’s office. He has been sent a summons to appear before the judge.