Police: Man tried to break into the York City Police Department

John Joyce

A York City man faces a slew of charges after an alleged drug-induced episode Saturday night during which he stole a car with a passenger in it and then tried to break into the York City Police Department claiming he was being attacked.


Dennis Lawrence, 28, 286 W. Cottage Place, is charged with theft of a motor vehicle, DUI, unlawful restraint, institutional vandalism, accidents involving damage to unattended vehicles or property, disorderly conduct, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and driving on a suspended license. He is being held in York County Prison in lieu of a $25,000 secured bond.

York City police were called to Li's Kitchen, 287 W. Market St., at about 7:10 p.m. Saturday. Employees there said a black man with a torn blue shirt had run into the store asking them to call the police because someone was trying to attack him. He had just left before police arrived, according to the documents.

When the officers went outside to look for the man, later identified as Lawrence, they noticed a vehicle stopped in the middle of traffic on West Market Street with front end damage. A woman flagged the officers down and said she'd left her car running while parked on West Market as she ran inside the New Grounds Coffee shop momentarily to speak with someone about working an event there later. That is when Lawrence jumped in the car and drove off, with a female passenger still in the car.

Lawrence drove to the police station, hitting the vehicle that sat disabled on West Market Street on the way. Once he got to the police station, Lawrence left the woman in the car unharmed and tried to get in the building to report he had been attacked, but the doors were locked, the documents said.

Lawrence then broke the wooden door and glass as he tried to force his way in. And, when that failed, Lawrence then ran down South George Street and West Mason Ave. where he was able to flag down a state trooper.

According to the documents, Lawrence told the trooper he needed help because someone was trying to attack him. York City officers responded to where the trooper was out with Lawrence and, one of them being a trained Drug Recognition Expert, deemed Lawrence was under the influence of some unknown drug.

Lawrence refused to cooperate and was taken to York Hospital where blood was drawn to identify what type of intoxicant he had taken. At the hospital, though, Lawrence submitted willfully to the blood drawing, the documents said.

Once Lawrence had been transported to central booking for processing, the officers returned to headquarters and spoke with the York County District Attorney's Office to figure out all of the crimes Lawrence should be charged with.

— Reach John Joyce atjjoyce2@yorkdispatch.comor on Twitter at @JohnJoyceYD