PSP: Thomasville-area man spurred lengthy, high-speed chase
A Thomasville-area man remains locked up for allegedly leading state police through a three-township chase in Adams County because he had an outstanding York County warrant.
Patrick Alexander Koethe's warrant was noncriminal and simply for a traffic case, officials said, meaning he apparently caught a felony charge to avoid what would have been merely an inconvenience.
Koethe, 25, of 42 North School House Road in Paradise Township, is being held on $25,000 bail at Adams County Prison, charged with the felony of fleeing or attempting to elude police, the misdemeanor offense of reckless endangerment and more than a dozen summary traffic violations, according to court records.
His traffic violations include five counts of running stop signs, three counts of passing in no-passing zones, driving without a license, speeding and reckless driving.
The chase: Trooper George Ross, based at the Gettysburg barracks of state police, was running radar in the 3600 block of York Road in Straban Township about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday when Koethe drove by in a Nissan going 94 mph in a 55 mph zone, according to charging documents.
Ross activated his lights and siren and gave chase, but Koethe took off, documents state.
The pursuit went south on Fleshman Mill Road, then onto Kohler Mill Road and Poplar Road, with Koethe running stop signs, charging documents state.
Koethe was still going fast when he passed several cars on Poplar Road and turned right onto Lingg Road and left on John Drive — again running stop signs, police allege. At that point, a patrol supervisor made the decision to stop the chase, police said.
Ross drove around the area and spotted the Nissan backing into a driveway on Spruce Lane, but it took off again as Ross got closer, documents state.
The chase resumed on Spruce Lane, then onto Lingg Road, Poplar Road, Pleasant Street and Hanover Street, police allege, with Koethe passing more vehicles and nearly crashing head-on into an Oxford Township Police cruiser, according to charging documents.
Called off again: The pursuit was stopped for a second time, but Ross continued to drive around the general area, looking for the Nissan, police said.
He spotted it about 2:50 p.m., parked in the driveway at 11 E. Locust Lane, and saw Koethe walking inside the house there, documents state.
Koethe came out of the house, apologized and was arrested, according to police, who said the pursuit went through Straban, Mount Pleasant and Oxford townships.
He told Ross he was trying to get the license-plate number of a truck that had passed him and kicked up gravel onto his windshield, documents state, and admitted he had seen the state police cruiser Ross was driving.
'Thought about warrant': "Koethe stated that he thought about slowing down and reporting the issue, but he thought about the warrant he had through York (County)," Ross wrote in charging documents. "Koethe stated that he did not want his car to be towed and impounded, so he took off."
Online court records show he owes $111 to District Judge James Miner's office for driving a vehicle without inspection in Penn Township in June.
It's unclear whether Koethe has retained an attorney.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.