High speed chase charges waived
MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel man who led police on a high-speed chase through Mount Carmel Township and Kulpmont before crashing and being tased by police waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Richard Allen Erb, 31, of 27 E. Sixth St., Apt. 1, Mount Carmel, waived charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police; accidents involving death or personal injury; altered, forged or counterfeit documents and plates; resisting arrest; recklessly endangering another person; disorderly conduct; reckless driving; accidents involving damage to an unattended vehicle or property; failure to drive in a single lane; fraudulent use or removal of a registration plate; driving without insurance; a lighting violation, and driving under suspension during a hearing before Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones of Mount Carmel.
According to a criminal complaint, Erb and his passenger were initially observed by Patrolman Matthew Ryan Filarski of the Mount Carmel Township Police Department at Choice Discount Cigarette Outlet at the intersection of Route 2032 (Mid-Valley Road) and Route 61 in Atlas at 10:18 p.m.
After crossing the viaduct into Mount Carmel and turning into the parking lot next to Divine Redeemer Church, Filarski said he was informed that Erb did not have a valid driver's license.
Filarski then headed back to the Choice store, but discovered that the white 1996 Chevrolet Camaro operated by Erb was no longer there.
After driving south on Route 61 toward the intersection with Route 54, Filarski spotted the Camaro in the area of Davita Dialysis.
After traveling to the area of The Trakk's restaurant along Route 61 between Strong and Kulpmont to wait for the Camaro to cross his path, Filarski noticed that the car's vehicle registration light was not properly illuminating the license plate.
Filarski attempted to stop the Camaro by activating his emergency lights near the Mount Carmel Township/Kulpmont boundary line, but Erb fled at a high rate of speed toward Kulpmont. In the 400 block of Chestnut Street in Kulpmont, Filarski turned on his siren in an attempt to get Erb to stop. Erb accelerated toward the intersection of Sixth and Chestnut streets, where a red light was activated.
Police said Erb then swerved the car into oncoming traffic, passed a vehicle on the left in a double yellow line area and traveled through the red light at a high rate of speed with Filarski in pursuit.
Filarski said Erb traveled between 80 and 100 miles per hour through Kulpmont.
After slowing down his cruiser, Filarski observed Erb continued to drive erratically. He said Erb swerved his vehicle into oncoming traffic, passed another vehicle in a double yellow line area and almost struck a vehicle head-on before swerving back into his lane of travel.
While swerving into the southbound in the 1400 block of Chestnut Street, police said the Camaro struck a curb, knocked over a stop sign and spun 360 degrees while airborne before coming to rest in the area of some storage sheds in the 1500 block of Chestnut Street.
Erb then attempted to flee the scene on foot despite commands by Filarski to stop running. At the entrance area to the storage sheds, Filarski deployed a Taser gun into Erb's upper back to stop him. Erb fell to the ground, but ignored Filarski's commands to stay down. Filarski again deployed the Taser gun on Erb, who complied with Filarski's order to put his hands straight out.
Erb, who was placed in Northumberland County Prison on a probation violation, was ordered to appear for court arraignment at the Northumberland County Courthouse Friday, Aug. 27. At their arraignments, a majority of defendants plead guilty or no contest, but can also plead innocent and seek a trial.