Cops: Jeannette man took ATV off road 3 times to avoid questioning
A Jeannette man who allegedly foiled three attempts by city police to question him July 22 following an area burglary by fleeing on an all-terrain vehicle was charged Monday with numerous criminal and traffic offenses.
Richard L. Berger, 50, is charged with fleeing and eluding, flight to avoid apprehension, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, careless driving, defiant trespass, unlawfully driving along a railroad right-of-way, and illegal operation of an all-terrain vehicle in connection with the incident. Berger is not charged with burglary.
Patrolman Thomas Yaniszeski reported in court documents that Berger was identified through photographs and a subsequent investigation.
Yaniszeski reported that he was walking near the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks near 14th Street while investigating a nearby burglary about 6:43 p.m. July 22 when a blue ATV with a passenger aboard slammed on its brakes to avoid striking him. The officer reported that the ATV nearly struck his patrol car as it fled.
Police allege that Berger and his female passenger fled off the railroad tracks on to South 14th Street and escaped by driving “off road through several yards.”
A short time later, Yaniszeski said he again located the ATV and its driver, who did not wear a helmet, in a wooded area near 15th Street in the woods, but the man — who was then alone — refused orders to stay where he was and drove off.
Police later located the driver and vehicle near Vale Street but reported he escaped a third time by driving the ATV through a creek.
A preliminary hearing has not been scheduled.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.