Last updated: July 15. 2014 11:48PM - 1962 Views
By - elewis@civitasmedia.com

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WILKES-BARRE — A Wilkes-Barre police cruiser was damaged during a pursuit that began near Public Square and ended in the northbound lanes of Interstate 81 in Plains Township.

The city officer was not injured.

The pursuit began at about 8:18 p.m. Monday when a Kingston police officer spotted a green Ford Taurus station wagon, allegedly driven by Denise M. Ziagos, 32, of Berwick, traveling on Market Street in Kingston. The Ford was believed to have been used after a retail theft at CVS Pharmacy on Market Street, Kingston, on July 8.

Ziagos traveled across the Market Street Bridge into Wilkes-Barre and stopped at West Market and Franklin streets, according to the criminal complaint.

As the officer walked toward the vehicle, Ziagos allegedly drove away, stopping at red traffic signals on Public Square and swerving around other vehicles turning onto East Market Street.

Police pursued Ziagos on numerous streets in Wilkes-Barre, including Coal Street where she nearly struck several police cruisers attempting to box her in, the complaint says.

Ziagos drove onto Highland Park Boulevard and turned onto the on-ramp to Interstate 81 where she struck the passenger side of a city police cruiser, according to the complaint.

Police said in the complaint Ziagos traveled onto the northbound lanes of Interstate 81 where she was forced to stop by numerous police vehicles including state police near mile marker 169.2.

Ziagos refused to exit the vehicle and struggled with officers by swinging her arms. She allegedly told police “she knew she had nothing to lose” as to the reason why she initiated a pursuit, the complaint says.

Police also struggled to remove a passenger, Michael Edward Haines, 27, of Dunmore, from the vehicle.

Ziagos was charged with criminal conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and reckless driving. She was also charged with retail theft and criminal conspiracy after Kingston police said she had stolen $353.88 in cosmetics and over-the-counter medications from CVS Pharmacy.

Haines was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and criminal conspiracy to commit retail theft.

Ziagos and Haines were arraigned Tuesday by District Judge Joseph Carmody in West Pittston and jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $17,500 and $12,500 bail, respectively.

In an unrelated case, Wilkes-Barre Township police charged Ziagos with retail theft when she allegedly had stolen $218 worth of merchandise from JCPenney, Wyoming Valley Mall, on Saturday.

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