PSP: Man who caused police crash also broke into home of sleeping family
A York City man who started a police chase Wednesday night that led to two York City police cruisers crashing also broke into a home where a woman and her children were sleeping, but despite that was unable to avoid capture, state police said.
Sherk Hunter Coleman also crashed during the chase and ran away on foot, but was later arrested while hiding inside the home he'd broken into, according to charging documents.
He refused to submit to a blood test — although he told state police he smoked marijuana earlier that day — and told troopers he fled from officers because he knew he had outstanding warrants, documents state.
State police have identified the three officers injured in the two-cruiser crash as Timothy Clymer, Matthew Irvin and Matthew Tunall.
All three were treated at York Hospital and released, according to hospital spokesman Barry Sparks.
Recovering: Two were released quickly, but one was kept overnight for evaluation, according to York City Police Chief Wes Kahley.
"They're at home recovering," he said. "We were lucky. God was watching over us last night. The accident could have been a lot worse and we're thankful they weren't injured any worse than they were."
All three will need to be medically cleared by their doctors before returning to work, Kahley said.
Clymer and Irvin were on patrol about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday when they spotted Coleman driving a white Nissan Altima, charging documents state.
The officers followed Coleman because they knew he had outstanding arrest warrants and no valid driver's license, according to state police.
It was agreed that state police would investigate the chase because it went through several jurisdictions and involved several police agencies, according to York City Police Chief Wes Kahley.
The chase: With Clymer and Irvin following him, Coleman drove eastbound on King Street, south on Pattison Street, east on East Princess Street and south on Albermarle Street, police said. The officers saw the Altima start to speed up and run a stop sign at East Prospect Street, police allege.
They turned on the cruiser's lights and siren and tried to pull over the car but Coleman took off, documents state.
The officers chased him west on East Prospect Street, north on South Broad Street and east on East Princess Street, at which point Coleman drove toward a cruiser occupied by two other officers, police said.
Coleman abruptly turned at an alley and the chase continued east on Edison Street and north on South Sherman street, with more York City officers in pursuit, police said.
At the Sherman Street intersection, the cruiser occupied by Clymer and Irvin collided with a cruiser being driven by Tunall, according to state police.
The pursuit continued onto North Tremont Street and East Market Street, then north on Eberts Lane to Route 30, documents state.
High speeds alleged: Police chased Coleman east on Route 30, with the Altima reaching speeds of 100 mph and running a red light, police said.
Coleman turned off the Altima's exterior lights in an effort to evade officers, documents state. He swerved across two lanes of traffic and left Route 30 at the Hallam exit, then went south on Freysville Road and eventually fled onto Prospect Road, police said.
State police and York Area Regional Police tried to put spike strips across the road before Coleman fled past the area, but when that failed to stop Coleman they also joined the chase, which headed back into York City, documents state.
Officers Clayton Glatfelter and Daniel Kling caught up with the Altima near Parkway Boulevard and Fairmont Place, where they found it crashed and abandoned, police said.
Hid in home: Officers were searching the area when York County 911 radioed they'd received a call from a homeowner in the 600 block of Smith Street who said a man was hiding in her home, documents state.
Kling responded there and the homeowner told him she and her two children were asleep when a man forced his way inside through the front door, ran upstairs and hid in a bedroom, according to charging documents.
Kling and other officers arrested Coleman inside the home, police said.
Coleman, 21, of 331 Smyser St., is now in York County Prison on $100,000 bail, charged with the felonies of burglary, criminal trespass, flight to avoid apprehension and fleeing or attempting to elude police; the misdemeanor of driving under the influence; and summary offenses including driving without lights to avoid arrest, driving with a suspended or revoked license, reckless driving, speeding and abandoning a vehicle on a highway.
Internal investigation: Kahley said York City Police are conducting an internal investigation of the two-cruiser crash.
The chief said it will be up to the city's insurance carrier to decide whether the cruisers are totaled, although he suspects they are beyond repair.
But he said little thought has been given to the cruisers to this point.
"Our concern is with the officers right now," Kahley said.
He declined to say whether Clymer or Irvin was behind the wheel of one of the wrecked cruisers.
"We're not ready to release information on the accident at this point," Kahley said, adding there is dashboard-camera video of the crash for investigators to review.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.