Passenger charged in 12-mile high-speed Route 30 chase

Liz Evans Scolforo
  • Police said they chased a stolen car for 12 miles on Route 30 from Hellam Twp. to Lancaster County.
  • The driver bailed out and ran, leaving a woman and two children in the car, state police said.
  • The woman, Delisse Melendez, is charged with felonies and is free on bail.

A Lancaster woman and her two minor children were passengers in a stolen car that led police on a 12-mile, high-speed chase through eastern York County and into Lancaster County, police said.

But after police stopped the car and the driver fled, the woman refused to reveal the identity of the driver, and she is now facing felony charges, according to charging documents.

Delisse Rosario Melendez, 31, of 30 Garden Court, is free on $25,000 bail, charged with felony child endangerment, felony receiving stolen property and summary counts for allegedly failing to properly secure her children in the stolen vehicle.

Delisse Melendez

The driver of the car remains on the lam, state police said.

According to charging documents, a state trooper spotted a black Honda Civic weaving, making multiple lane changes and failing to maintain a constant speed about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, and the trooper tried to pull over the car.

That was on Route 30 eastbound near that Hallam exit in Hellam Township, police said.

The car, which had been reported stolen from Allentown, eventually stopped, but a moment later took off at a high rate of speed, heading east, documents state.

The pursuit: Troopers chased the car at speeds of more than 100 mph for about 12 miles as the car changed lanes multiple times and speeded past other vehicles, police said.

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The pursuit went into Lancaster County, where other state troopers were waiting near the Centerville Road exit in West Hempfield Township and threw down spike strips that the Civic ran over, documents state.

The car pulled over after its tires deflated, and the male driver jumped out and took off, successfully evading capture, according to documents.

Troopers found Melendez in the front seat not wearing a seat belt, and her two underage children were in the back seat, not restrained by seat belts or child-safety seats, according to documents.

Melendez denied knowing the driver and claimed he had simply "picked them up" because they needed a ride, documents state.

Photos found: Police went through her purse and found photos dated from last week showing Melendez and the man kissing, but she still denied knowing him, according to charging documents.

Melendez initially was listed as a drifter in charging documents, but during her arraignment it was revealed that she had been living at her grandmother's apartment for three weeks and that she relocated to Pennsylvania about a month ago, documents state.

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She has no criminal history, according to court documents.

The York Dispatch called Melendez on Thursday, but a language barrier prevented a reporter from asking her detailed questions. A woman speaking on Melendez's behalf then said Melendez had no comment.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.