A police pursuit that began a few minutes before noon this past Thursday started because of a dog.
Wellsboro police chief Jim Bodine said his officers went to a Wellsboro residence Aug. 8 because of a loose dog. Two men from Philadelphia were staying in the house and reportedly allowed the animal to go outside and run loose.
When police knocked on the door to address the loose dog, the pair exited the house from the back and took off on foot. While police were searching, the men got into a car and drove away.
A patrol unit tried to stop the vehicle for a broken tail light, and that’s when the pursuit began, said Bodine.
The vehicle fled the borough at an “extremely high rate of speed” on Charleston Road, entered Route 6 and turned off, said Bodine. His officers followed, but stopped pursuit due to the heavy traffic congestion on Charleston Road due to the Tioga County Fair.
State police picked up the chase near the Mansfield exchange of Route 15 as the vehicle headed south. The pursuit ended near Blossburg when municipal police stopped the vehicle.
“It’s unknown if the defendant’s car started to die or if they gave up due to the fact that there were a lot of officers,” said Bodine.
Both men, Thurston Wells, 27, and Paris Baldwin, 26, both of Philadelphia, were transported to Wellsboro for questioning. Wells, the driver, was charged with a felony count of fleeing and attempting to elude police and violations of driving at an unsafe speed, passing in a no passing zone, failure to drive on the right side of the road, failing to obey stop and yield signs, driving while operating privileges are suspended, careless driving and operating a vehicle with unsafe equipment.
He was remanded to Tioga County Prison on $50,000 bail.
No charges were filed on the passenger.
Wells posted bond. Both he and Baldwin are believed to have left the area, said Bodine.
The incident is still under investigation. Police did not recover anything in a search of the vehicle, although $1,500 in cash was found on Wells’ person at the jail.
As for the dog, humane officer Krys Knect and an assistant captured it. The dog is being cared for at another site, said Bodine.