A 27-year-old man who resisted arrest and led officers on a three-mile chase through the Ligonier area last week was arrested and is being held on a $200,000 bond.
Ligonier Valley police said Jesse Vaughn Lawson of New Alexandria has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, driving on a suspended license, fleeing and eluding, receiving stolen property, reckless driving, resisting arrest and simple assault stemming from the incident that began at approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday in the 500 block of Willow Lane near the Laurel Valley Country Club, where Lawson was found trespassing on a relative’s property, according to police.
When Assistant Police Chief Michael Matrunics arrived and began speaking to the relative, Lawson attempted to flee in a 2005 Buick LeSabre sedan that had been reported stolen in Greensburg.
After Lawson refused commands to stop and get out of the car, Matrunics tried to physically remove Lawson from the car, but he continued to drive away, according to court papers. Matrunics followed Lawson as he drove eastbound on Route 30 at a high rate of speed and illegally passed other vehicles by using the westbound lane.
The pursuit abruptly ended when Lawson crashed into a large boulder at Laughlintown Self Storage and continued to flee on foot. Lawson’s escape prompted Ligonier Valley police to issue an alert to residents.
According to online court documents, Lawson was wanted on two arrest warrants issued after he failed to appear for hearings on charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and theft, and a separate case charging him with defiant trespassing.
A state police helicopter was called in to assist officers with the search Wednesday. Specific details on his subsequent arrest were not immediately available. He will face a preliminary hearing on Sept. 17.