Pursuit results in charges against St. Marys man

Staff Writer

A St. Marys man is facing charges following a pursuit that occurred in St. Marys on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 22.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge Mark S. Jacob on Monday but only obtained by The Daily Press on Thursday afternoon, Jeffery D. Polaski, 24, of 120 Flagstone Road, St. Marys was operating the vehicle at the time of the incident.
At approximately 8:56 p.m. on Aug. 22, officers with the City of St. Marys Police Department were traveling southbound on South Michael Street when they observed a white Mazda turn right onto Simons Street.
The vehicle was observed to have a male operator, who officers initially believed to be a different individual with active warrants. A male passenger was also observed to be in the vehicle.
Officers attempted to stop the vehicle using their emergency lights and siren. The driver of the vehicle then began attempting to flee from police in the area of Stackpole Street by DeLullo’s Deli.
The suspect vehicle reportedly “began running all traffic control devices and crossing into oncoming traffic lanes” and “approximate speeds of 70 miles per hour were reached in the 25 miles per hour zones during the pursuit.”
The pursuit continued down Hall Avenue and onto Theresia Street, where it turned into Benzinger Road. At one point on Benzinger Road, the driver of the Mazda reportedly lost control of the rear end of the vehicle, almost crashing.
Additional officers were contacted and notified of the location of the pursuit in hopes that they could get ahead of the suspect vehicle.
The vehicle reportedly continued down Monroe Road, where the officers in pursuit lost sight of it near Fillmore Road. Continuing onto Fillmore Road, the officers observed the two marked the City of St. Marys Police vehicles at the intersection of Fillmore Road and state Route 120.
According to the affidavit, the additional police vehicles “were staged at the intersection of Fillmore Road and Brusselles Street when the white Mazda had left the roadway into the parking lot of the Green Lite, passing the marked patrol cars. The officer operating one of those vehicles continued as the primary pursuit vehicle and found that a male had “got the white Mazda stuck in the woods and ran on foot.”
As it was previously reported in The Daily Press, prior to the white Mazda encountering the staged marked patrol cars, an individual had exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. That individual was later identified to be Johnny Crespo, and he was located and arrested for hindering apprehension.
Later that same day, officers conducted a follow-up interview with Brooke Feidler, who was the owner of the white Mazda. She informed officers that she let Jeffery Polaski and Johnny Crespo use the car that morning. An individual identified as Austin Krone was also reportedly present at Feidler’s residence at the time and attempted to call Polaski’s cellphone. At the same time, the officer conducting the interview contacted another officer involved with the investigation and was informed that a phone within the white Mazda was ringing.
Through their continued investigation, it was found that Polaski had an active bench warrant on a first-degree charge of theft by deception and that his Pennsylvania operator’s license had been suspended.
Crespo was also interviewed that same day by Elk County Detective, Gregg McManus and allegedly informed him that “he was nowhere around the car and that he was just walking down the road.”
However, in a later interview conducted by officers with the City of St. Marys Police Department, Crespo reportedly admitted that “he was in the car and that Jeffery Polaski was, in fact, operating the vehicle.”
Preliminary arraignment for Polaski was held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday before Judge Jacob. He is facing a third-degree felony charge of fleeing or attempting to elude officers, a second-degree misdemeanor charge of endangering another person, a second-degree misdemeanor charge of flight to avoid apprehension/trial/punishment; a second-degree misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest/other law enforcement, and summary charges of driving while operating privileges are suspended or revoked, and reckless driving.
Bail was set at $300,000 monetary. Unable to post bail, Polaski was confined in Elk County Prison.
A preliminary hearing for Polaski is scheduled to be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4 before Judge Jacob.