Police: York-area driver fled police, crashed a few blocks later

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Elijah Jordan Baxter

A York-area man had marijuana in his car when he fled from Spring Garden Township Police last fall — a pursuit that ended when he crashed the car, bailed out and took off on foot, according to police allegations.

An officer was trying to stop Elijah Jordan Baxter the evening of Nov. 24 because the man's Nissan Altima fit the general description of a hit-and-run vehicle that struck a sheriff's deputy earlier that month, according to charging documents.

At this point, no one has been charged in the hit-and-run of the deputy and the investigation continues, according to York City Police Lt. William Wentz, who supervises the detective bureau. He said police officers have pulled over a number of vehicles that matched the general description of the hit-and-run vehicle.

Baxter, 20, of the 1700 block of Yorktowne Drive in West Manchester Township, is facing charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license.

Spring Garden Township Police filed the chase charges against Baxter Jan. 23.

Not arraigned: On Tuesday, Feb. 5, his online court file had been updated to say a court summons mailed to his address was returned as being undeliverable. He has not yet been arraigned.

According to charging documents, an officer spotted a Nissan Altima being driven by Baxter in the 1200 block of Mount Rose Avenue and tried to stop it to see if it might be involved in the deputy hit and run.

After the officer turned on his lights and siren, Baxter initially pulled over near the intersection of South Pine and East Maple streets, but then took off, police allege.

He crashed several blocks away behind the 400 block of South Queen Street, according to charging documents. Everyone in the vehicle fled on foot, police said.

Officers found a 150-count box of clear sandwich bags, a small amount of pot and a digital scale, documents state.

Investigators used surveillance video to determine Baxter was driving the fleeing car, police said.

Deputy on light duty: The deputy who was struck by a still-unidentified hit-and-run driver Nov. 7 is back at work on light duty, meaning restricted duty, according to York County Sheriff Richard Keuerleber.

He is expected to make a full recovery, the sheriff said.

His name has not been released because he is part of the York County Drug Task Force and revealing his name could compromise his investigations, Keuerleber said.

The deputy underwent leg surgery after being struck, the sheriff said in November.

He was working with the task force and trying to arrest someone when he was hit at 3:49 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the intersection of South Queen and East Princess streets.

But the wanted person ran, spurring a foot pursuit with officers and deputies, according to the lieutenant.

The deputy ran into the street and was struck by a black four-door sedan, which then fled the area, Wentz said. The car is believed to have front-end damage and possible windshield damage.

A York County sheriff's deputy was struck by a hit-and-run car at the intersection of South Queen and East Princess streets on Nov. 7, 2018, York City Police said.
(John A. Pavoncello photo)

Thrown onto hood: After being struck, the deputy was thrown onto the hood of the car and "was propelled into the air and landed on the roadway," according to the lieutenant.

"The car that struck him was not involved in the drug investigation," Wentz said.

A cash reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the hit-and-run driver, police said.

Police urge anyone with information to text "Yorktips" and their information to 847411, or call the city's crime tip line, 717-849-2204. Both the text service and the tip line are anonymous, police said.

Tipsters can also call York County Crime Stoppers at 717-755-TIPS.

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