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State police: Man leapt off second-story balcony to escape

John Joyce
  • State police say a man on a motorcycle led a trooper on a chase Aug. 6, then fled on foot and got away.
  • Joshua Gettel, 19, got off his motorcycle, ran into a house and jumped off a second-story balcony to escape, police said.
  • Gettel has as many as eight driving and drug violations dating back to February 2016, court records show,

State police say a man on a red Honda sport bike led a trooper on a brief vehicle chase before he ducked into a house and then jumped from a second-story balcony to escape on foot.

The incident took place about 1:42 p.m. Aug. 6.

According to charging documents, Joshua Gettel, 19, no fixed address, came in voluntarily to speak with police on Sunday. Charges have been filed against Gettel for fleeing to elude arrest, driving on a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia and a series of moving violations.


According to the documents, Trooper Patrick Loughman was on patrol in a marked police vehicle at the intersection of Rock Lane and Henrietta Street in Red Lion when he first saw Gettel on the motorcycle traveling north on South Pine Street.

Gettel saw Loughman and sped up, taking a left turn without signaling, according to police. The charging documents said the back tire of the sport bike wobbled through the turn, and Gettel had to stick out his leg to keep himself upright. Loughman then hit the lights and sirens on his patrol car and attempted stop Gettel, the documents said.

"I had to accelerate my vehicle as fast as it could go," Loughman wrote in the documents.

He said he pursued Gettel through a few more left turns — during none of which did Gettel use his turn signal — before ending up on Henrietta Street, where Gettel stopped his motorcycle in the front yard of a residence.

Loughman rolled down his window and told Gettel to turn off his engine and get off the motorcycle. Gettel did so, but then he ran through the basement door of the residence at 100 Henrietta St., went upstairs and then jumped off the balcony to escape, police said.

"He received several abrasions and bruises from jumping from the second-story balcony," state police spokesman Trooper Rob Hicks said.

Loughman was able to identify Gettel by running the registration of the sport bike, according to the charging documents. The homeowner and his daughter arrived home shortly after Gettel got away and told Loughman he had been staying there, the documents said.

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The residents allowed Loughman to search the room where Gettel was staying. Loughman found numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia, including a Volcano vaporizer, bags, two glass marijuana bowls, two marijuana grinders and an electric scale, according to the documents.

In addition to identifying Gettel, PennDOT information showed his driver's license to be suspended.

Upon turning himself in to police, Gettel said he saw Loughman at the intersection and took off because he knew the trooper was going to stop him and that he fled because he was scared. He said he is known to police and admitted to continuing to run, out of fear, first on his motorcycle then on foot after jumping off the balcony, according to the documents.

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Hicks said Gettel was brought to Central Booking and arraigned after turning himself in. No bail information was listed on the current charges.

Gettel has been arrested or cited eight times since February for moving or equipment violations and marijuana possession. Each time he either pleaded guilty and paid a fine or was released on his own recognizance, according to court records.

— Reach John Joyce atjjoyce2@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter @JohnJoyceYD.