WILKES-BARRE ‚?? City police arrested three people found sitting in a suspected mobile methamphetamine lab on East Lafayette Place Friday afternoon and used a Taser to subdue one of the occupants after he allegedly fled from police.
Police closed East Lafayette Place between Academy Street and Rita Street while state police forensic scientists wearing respirators, black protective suits and rubber gloves collected evidence from the vehicle, an older model green Toyota Corolla. They removed several metal jugs, bags, assorted containers and papers from the trunk and passenger compartment of the four-door sedan.
Members of a state police clandestine lab response team called the car a suspected meth lab and said articles consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine were found inside the vehicle. The articles will be tested at a forensic laboratory, they said, a process that typically takes from six to eight weeks.
The vehicle was towed by LAG Towing, the city‚??s towing contractor, to the LAG impound lot. City police said the vehicle was not evidence, though evidence was collected from inside the vehicle.
The alleged drug bust began shortly after 3 p.m., when Wilkes-Barre police officer Robert Collins said he saw the car parked on East Lafayette Place with the three occupants inside. One of the occupants, a man, took off running as Collins stopped his police cruiser.
Multiple neighbors, who asked not to be identified, reported seeing the man run into a fenced yard on East Lafayette Place, where Collins used a Taser to subdue him.
A neighbor who said he witnessed the incident said the man removed the Taser barb from his body and continued running until he was subdued by Collins. Collins ordered the car‚??s other two occupants, a man and a woman, to stay in the vehicle and kept them in sight as he arrested the man, several neighbors said.
‚??He did a suburb job,‚?Ě a witness said.
Additional units arrived a few minutes later, and all three were taken into custody.
A neighbor reported she had seen the vehicle in the neighborhood before and she believed it did not belong to a resident of the neighborhood in South Wilkes-Barre.
‚??We‚??re kind of a close-knit community here and we try to watch out,‚?Ě said the neighbor, who did not give her name. ‚??You kind of get familiarized with who belongs here and who doesn‚??t.‚?Ě
Another neighbor said the Toyota did not belong to a resident of East Lafayette Street or the surrounding blocks.
The state Office of Attorney General‚??s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation was also contacted to assist in the investigation.
State drug agents busted other alleged meth labs at 72 Beekman St. on June 1 and at 80 Church St. on May 22 in South Wilkes-Barre.