HAZLETON MAN FACES TRIAL IN PURSUIT CASE — (The Times Leader)

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The Times Leader(Wilkes Barre, PA)

September 9, 2000

Author: RAY CUMMINGS rcummings@leader.net

WEST HAZLETON – Six of thirteen charges against a Hazleton man accused of leading borough police on a high-speed chase in late July were dismissed Friday by District Justice Thomas Sharkey.

But Mark Noel, 44, of 70 S. Pine St. will stand trial in Luzerne County Court on one count each of fleeing or attempting to elude police, failure to drive at safe speeds, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to obey stop signs and yield signs, driving the wrong way on a one-way roadway, failure to obey traffic control signals and careless driving.

Sharkey dismissed two charges of reckless endangerment, and one charge each of DUI, failure to obey traffic control signals, failure to obey stop signs and yield signs and driving improperly on a roadway laned for traffic.

According to police:

Borough officers Timothy Jacobs and Timothy Charette saw a light blue Chevrolet driven by Noel fail to stop at a red light while turning left from Jackson Avenue onto North Broad Street at 2:18 a.m. on July 28.

Jacobs followed the car as it traveled south on North Broad and turned on his police lights. Noel tried to evade police, twisting and turning through the borough, running numerous stop lights and signs and at times exceeding 80 mph. As Jacobs pursued, he noticed the car passing in no-passing zones.

When Noel’s Chevy reached state Road 924 and began traveling south, Charette radioed ahead to state police in Frackville, who set up stop sticks a half mile before the intersection of 924 and state Road 4033. Noel ran over the sticks and was forced to stop.

Noel, who smelled of alcohol, told police that he had Prozac and several shots of liquor before getting behind the wheel.

Police performed three field-sobriety tests on Noel – all of which he failed – before placing him under arrest. Noel was taken to Hazleton General Hospital where he consented to alcohol and blood testing.

Ray Cummings, a Times Leader staff writer, can be reached at 459-2005.

Copyright (c) 2000 The Times Leader
Record Number:  0009110172