- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—A Freeland man accused of stealing from a Hazle Township store and then fleeing in a stole vehicle and engaging police on a high speed pursuit, remains in jail unable to post bail.

Christian W. Mullis, 18, was charged by state police at Hazleton after the Saturday incident with theft, receiving stolen property and fleeing or attempting to elude police, all felonies. He was also charged with misdemeanors for reckless endangerment, unauthorized use of motor vehicles, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and accidents involving damage to attended vehicles or property and eight summary vehicle code violations. He was arraigned that afternoon by Magisterial District Judge Ronald Swank, Mountain Top, who set bail at $50,000, according to his court docket.

Arrest papers state the incident began around 10 a.m. when he stole various clothing items and a BB gun valued at $77. 46 from Kmart, shoving a loss prevention worker out of his way as he exited the business and entered a stolen silver Pontiac Sunfire. He drove through a red light at Airport Beltway and Laurel Mall Drive, hitting an occupied Toyota Sienna with Ohio registration, court papers state, and fled the scene of the crash. He continued driving, according to arrest papers, hitting a car port at 27 N. Beisels Road and driving away, before leading Butler Township police and troopers on a high speed pursuit east on East Butler Drive that reached speeds of 70 miles per hour. He eventually drove off the road after swerving across the double yellow line several times, causing oncoming traffic to swerve to the shoulder. Upon driving off the road he entered the lawn of a home at 449 E. Butler Drive, circled the rear and hit a shrub on the side of the residence, police wrote, before fleeing again — this time on foot.

His escape ended after he was tackled. Troopers and Butler police took him into custody.

—Amanda Christman

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(c)2015 the Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pa.)

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