Police: Dad didn't abandon boy while fleeing police
A York City father accused of leading Lower Windsor Township Police on a brief DUI chase that ended when he crashed into a tree is now facing trial.
Testimony at his Sept. 29 preliminary hearing revealed that Carlos Morales-Santana did not leave his 4-year-old son behind in the car when he allegedly took off on foot.
Police initially reported the boy was found abandoned in the crashed vehicle after Morales-Santana and his passenger bailed out and ran.
But Officer Mark Jackson, who filed the charges, testified the two men took the boy with them, according to a hearing transcript provided to The York Dispatch by defense attorney Jeremy Williams.
"Mr. Morales appreciates that Officer Jackson clarified previously inconsistent reports," Williams said.
Asked about the case, Williams said, "We're looking forward to litigating the matter (in court)."
At the close of the preliminary hearing, District Judge John H. Fishel determined enough evidence exists for Morales-Santana to stand trial and forwarded his case to York County Court.
The background: Morales-Santana, 32, of the 400 block of West Philadelphia Street, remains in York County Prison on $10,000 bail, charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, child endangerment, DUI, causing an accident involving an attended vehicle, reckless endangerment, possession of a small amount of marijuana, driving with a suspended license and reckless driving.
Jackson, an officer with Lower Windsor Township Police, pulled over Morales-Santana's 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse about 11 p.m. Aug. 4, in the 4600 block of East Prospect Road on suspicion of DUI, according to police.
Morales-Santana stopped, but only briefly, charging documents state.
"When Officer Jackson exited the patrol vehicle ... that's when the suspect drove around him and took off," Lower Windsor Township Police Chief Tim Caldwell told The York Dispatch at the time.
"The vehicle was very close to striking me," Jackson testified at the hearing.
Morales-Santana fled eastbound at a high rate of speed but crashed into a tree in a yard in the 5000 block of East Prospect Road, documents state.
Crashed into tree: He made it less than a mile before crashing, according to Caldwell.
Morales-Santana and his buddy jumped out and fled on foot but were found on the back deck of a house on the property where they crashed, police said.
Both of them had been smoking marijuana, documents allege.
They took Morales-Santana's 4-year-old son with them when they ran and gave him to the owner of the property where they fled, according to Jackson's testimony at the preliminary hearing.
It's unclear how Morales-Santana knows the property owner.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.