Police: Drunken Hanover Twp. man in chase that reached speeds of 120 mph

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]

PLYMOUTH — A Hanover Township man set to be sentenced on charges he tried to run down a Wilkes-Barre officer was arrested late Wednesday after he allegedly initiated a pursuit in Plymouth that reached speeds of 120 mph.

Plymouth police said they tried to stop a drunken Joseph Ryan Popovich, 33, for illegally passing a vehicle on West Main Street at about 10 p.m. Popovich was arrested when he abandoned his vehicle after striking a parked vehicle near his residence on Garrahan Street in Hanover Township, police said.

Court records say Wilkes-Barre police charged Popovich with nearly striking a city officer on South Empire Street on Oct. 28, 2017. That time, Popovich passed through a stop sign and a red light, then parked in a driveway, authorities report.

As the city officer approached, Popovich reversed his vehicle, nearly striking the officer who had to jump out of the way, court papers say.

Popovich pleaded guilty to fleeing or attempting to elude police, flight to avoid apprehension and driving with a suspended license on Sept. 17. He was free on $10,000 unsecured bail awaiting sentencing Oct. 25.

According to the latest criminal complaint:

A Plymouth officer spotted Popovich turn into oncoming traffic to pass a vehicle. Popovich sped away, turning onto several streets in a bid to elude police.

Popovich turned onto the Carey Avenue Bridge, crossing into Hanover Township. He turned onto First Street, Fellows Avenue and Garrahan Street where the pursuit ended.

When he was arrested in a yard, police said Popovich had slurred speech, glossy eyes and smelled of alcohol.

He submitted to a blood-alcohol test at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

Popovich was arraigned by District Judge Matthew Christopher in Luzerne County Central Court on two counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count each of fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, and nine traffic citations. He was jailed at the county lockup for lack of $20,000 bail.


By Ed Lewis

[email protected]