Police chase ends in New Eagle

April 23, 2014
Justin Gessel

A Carroll Township man faces numerous charges after he allegedly struck two police cruisers during a brief chase Tuesday night that began in Elizabeth Township and ended in New Eagle.

Monongahela police Chief Brian Tempest said his officers received a call shortly before 8 p.m. from police in Allegheny County that they were chasing a car into Washington County and needed assistance.

A Monongahela police officer positioned his cruiser to partially block Route 837 at Route 88 in New Eagle, prompting Justin Gessel, 32, of 156 Taylor Run Road, to drive around the roadblock, Tempest said. However, Gessel stopped his car near the roadblock, allowing officers from multiple departments to pull him out of the vehicle.

Elizabeth Township police stopped Gessel after learning he was wanted on a warrant, but he drove away and hit two police cruisers during the pursuit, Tempest said. No officers were injured and there was no damage to any Monongahela police cars.

“During the traffic stop in Elizabeth, he struck a police car and that’s when the chase started,” Tempest said.

Gessel was charged by Elizabeth Township police with three counts of aggravated assault, four counts of reckless endangerment and one count each of false identification to police, fleeing police and possession of a controlled substance.

Police said they found stamp bags of suspected heroin and syringes in the car.

He was arraigned early Wednesday morning and taken to Allegheny County jail.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and Patch.com. He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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