A Dover Township man who drove drunk, dragged a police officer with his vehicle, then crashed into a home -- all because he believed his girlfriend was cheating on him -- must spend at least four years in state prison and pay more than $40,000 in restitution.
Tracy Allen Smith, 43, of Butter Road, was sentenced Wednesday to four to 10 years in state prison for the Dec. 6, 2011, incident. He also must undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and attend an alcohol highway safety school, court records state.
He pleaded guilty in November to aggravated assault, fleeing police, DUI and theft, records state. He also pleaded no context to other charges, including simple assault and causing or risking a catastrophe.
Smith has a criminal record that includes offenses in Arizona and Ohio, according to senior deputy prosecutor Jared Mellott.
"He moved to Pennsylvania but obviously didn't change his ways," Mellott said. "He's a career criminal, in my opinion."
But defense attorney Farley Holt said the incident was basically a domestic dispute that, fueled by alcohol, escalated out of control.
"He found out his baby's mama was cheating on him," Holt said. "He decided to get intoxicated and a fight ensued. When the police were called, he decided to take the vehicle they both used ... and leave the scene."
The background: Northern York County Regional Police were called to Smith's home about 8:45 p.m. for a domestic dispute. His live-in girlfriend told officers Smith was intoxicated and they argued.
He started choking her, but left when one of her children called 911, police said.
When Officer Andrew Neff spotted Smith walking nearby, Smith started to drive away.
Neff reached in the car and struggled with Smith for control of the car keys, but Smith started the car and began to drive away with Neff still partially inside, police said.
Neff was dragged several feet and escaped with minor injuries, police said.
Another officer tried to pull over Smith on East Canal Street, but Smith turned onto Willow Run Road, accelerated and ran a stop sign at the Butter Road intersection, police said.
Chimney ruined: Smith's car went through the intersection and crashed into the home of Zach and Lindsay Strausbaugh, destroying its chimney and rupturing a natural-gas line, according to police.
Smith took off on foot, but was captured after a short chase, police said.
Police said Smith suffered minor injuries as he resisted arrest, and said officers had to pepper-spray him.
It's unclear how drunk Smith was at the time because he refused to submit to a blood test, according to Mellott.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.