A Sayre man is facing multiple charges after leading police on a high speed pursuit throughout the Valley and deeper into Bradford County Thursday that involved him slamming his SUV into two patrol cars, driving his vehicle through multiple fences as he damaged a blueberry farm, and then being unresponsive as police took him into custody.
Shortly before the chase began, Sayre police learned late Wednesday that Athens Borough officers were searching for 26-year-old Patrick Michael Firestine, who was wanted for felony domestic violence crimes and state parole warrant.
Just after midnight Tuesday, Athens Borough police said Firestine intentionally rammed a woman’s car on South Main Street while a 14-month-old boy was inside, then drove over the vehicle’s hood, yelled a threat out of the window, and then sped away from the scene.
Sayre police ended up finding Firestine’s GMC Terrain parked at an East Lockhart Street home in the borough and could see someone leaning inside of the vehicle. As they turned around, Firestine started driving away, rolling through stop signs and not using a turn signal. Police tried to stop Firestine near Riverfront Park but he continued on, and sped up after reaching Athens Borough. He blew through the Walnut Street and North Main Street intersection at around 60 miles per hour and hit speeds of around 100 miles per hour while leading police past Walmart in Athens Township. In South Waverly, Firestine struck the rear driver’s side of a patrol vehicle that was on Division Street as he was heading south on Murray Street. Shortly after, Firestine swerved his SUV into another patrol vehicle that ended up to the right of him as he approached Pitney Street.
Firestine made his way back to Elmira Street, again reaching 100 miles per hour before leading policie through various borough and township roads, north in the southbound lane of Route 220, and up Mile Lane Road where Firestine crashed through a fence at Blueberry Mountain Farm, damaged farm equipment as he made his way across some of the field, and broke through two more fences before getting on Mink Ranch Road.
The pursuit continued to Berwick Turnpike and then to Springfield Road, where Firestine attempted to swerve at another patrol vehicle. With his vehicle having sustained multiple damages, Firestine stopped on Peas Hill Road in Smithfield Township.
Firestine initially resisted arrest, but then became unresponsive after three officers placed him into handcuffs. Police said his eyelids were shuttering and he was sweating profusely. Greater Valley EMS arrived on scene and discovered that Firestine has a 105 pulse, which police said indicated methamphetamine use.
Firestine was charged with three counts of felony aggravated assault, felony fleeing or attempting to elude officer, misdemeanor driving under the influence of a controlled substance, seven counts of misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person, misdemeanor resist arrest, summary driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, summary reckless driving, and summary careless driving.
In relation to the initial Athens Borough incident, Firestine was charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault, two counts of misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person, misdemeanor terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another, misdemeanor accident involving damage attended vehicle/property, and summary driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked.
He was sent to the Bradford County Correctional Facility on $175,000 combined bail for both incidents. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Aug. 18.