Former police chief heading to trial in DUI, hit-and-run case

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A former police chief will go to trial this spring — without a jury — on charges he caused a DUI crash and then left the scene last year.

Carl Segatti, 71, allegedly replied "watch me" to a firefighter who told the former Northern York Regional police chief he couldn't leave the scene of the incident, according to charging documents.

Segatti sought a bench trial through his attorney during a hearing in the York County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday. The move came after he was denied entry into the county’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program three months ago.

The retired police chief declined comment after the hearing.

Carl Segatti in a 2010 file photo.

Segatti faces two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor count of causing a personal injury accident and summary offenses of failing to stop and render aid and failing to report an accident.

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He’s also charged with summary counts of driving an unregistered vehicle and fraudulent use of a license plate.

Segatti, who retired in 2010, was driving a Jeep when police said he rear-ended a car that was stopped in the left turn lane of Route 30 at North Sherman Street in April 2022. A group of York Area United Fire/Rescue firefighters were behind Segatti’s vehicle and witnessed the crash, Springettsbury Township police said.

One firefighter told police he saw Segatti get out of his Jeep and check on the other car’s driver. He also spoke to the firefighter and handed him a card with his number on it, the criminal complaint shows.

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Segatti then allegedly got back into his Jeep to drive away. When the firefighter tried to stop him, telling him he couldn't leave the scene, Segatti allegedly replied: “Watch me.”

The driver of the other car went to a local hospital with neck pain, which police said was whiplash.

Officers later found Segatti at his home, and he allegedly said his foot had slipped off the Jeep’s clutch, causing it to lurch forward into the other car.

As they spoke, an officer suspected Segatti was drunk and arrested him. In the process, Segatti allegedly wanted the officer to include in his report that he drank vodka while at home to create an “affirmative defense,” according to the complaint.

A blood test showed his blood-alcohol content at the time was 0.216%, well above the legal limit of .08% for driving.

Carl Segatti, center, in a 2006 file photo.

Investigators also learned the registration on Segatti’s Jeep was expired and that he had allegedly switched its license plate with the plate from another car he owns.

Following his arrest, Segatti applied to enter York County’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program last August.

The District Attorney's Office denied the request a few months later. A filing from Nov. 2 shows Segatti was disqualified due to the "nature and extent of injuries to victim."

ARD is generally available to first-time offenders who meet specific criteria, and it serves as an opportunity for them to avoid convictions and sentences in their cases. They can also potentially have the charges expunged from their record.

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The DA's webpage on ARD notes that applicants can be disqualified if, in the situation for which they’re charged, a crash occurred and a person was seriously injured. Impairment violations and other criteria can also put an application under “heightened scrutiny.”

During his hearing Tuesday, Judge Harry Ness agreed to allow the case to go to a bench trial. He scheduled it to be held April 11.

Attorneys will provide a document that waives a jury trial in the matter.

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.