Police: Driver in Peach Bottom Twp. ATV chase was DUI
A Fawn Grove-area man whose license is suspended for DUI was allegedly intoxicated when he led state police on a chase in Peach Bottom Township while on an ATV, according to charging documents.
James D. Belyew, 56, of 1323 Bridgeton Road in Fawn Township, is free on $10,000 bail, charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving with a suspended license, careless driving and driving on the wrong side of the road.
According to charging documents filed by state police, Trooper Patrick Loughman was on routine patrol about 8:25 p.m. Sept. 14 near the corner of Woodbine and Cottonwood roads when he saw two four-wheel all-terrain vehicles speed past him, one without taillights or a valid vehicle registration.
Loughman pursued the ATVs with his cruiser's lights and siren activated, police said.
Both ATV drivers increased their speeds, and the one with taillights was soon out of the trooper's view, police said.
Loughman kept chasing the ATV without taillights eastbound on Woodbine Road and watched as it partially went off the road and also crossed the double-yellow line three times, documents allege.
Belyew, who was operating the fleeing ATV, pulled over at the intersection of Quiet Stream Lane after Loughman pulled aside the ATV, honked his cruiser's horn and pointed to the side of the road, according to documents.
'Signs of impairment': Belyew denied drinking that night, but smelled of alcohol and showed "signs of impairment" when doing field sobriety tests, charging documents state. A field Breathalyzer-type test indicated alcohol was present on the man's breath, police allege.
He admitted his license was suspended for DUI, and that he was on numerous medications, including oxycodone, according to documents. He also told Loughman he didn't know the identity of the other ATV driver, police said.
Court records show that in 2008, Belyew pleaded guilty to DUI/fourth or subsequent offense in Northampton County Court and was sentenced to state prison in addition to a license suspension. He lived in Allentown at the time, records state.
While at York Hospital for a blood test after being arrested last month, Belyew talked about how he was doing 60 mph while running from the trooper and would have kept running, but a guard rail stopped him from going off-road, charging documents state.
It is unclear whether Belyew has retained an attorney, and his phone number has been disconnected.
His preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 19, according to online court records.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.