DUI charges for Penn Borough driver who nearly struck North Huntingdon officer

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A Penn Borough woman was arrested after being accused of nearly striking a police officer and fleeing to her home.

Cynthia A. Cochran, 49, of South Railroad Street, Penn Borough, was charged with aggravated assault, attempting to flee, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and numerous traffic citations after a traffic stop in July. She is set to plead guilty during a formal arraignment in November, Matthew Schmizzi, her public defender, said.

“We have reached a deal that we believe to be in her best interest,” he said. “She will be placed on probation and have a period of house arrest.”

Cochran is accused of trying to flee after a traffic stop on Pennsylvania Avenue in North Huntingdon Township for an expired registration. Police officers had to remove her from her vehicle, which she parked in her driveway after she led them on a chase through her neighborhood, according to the police report.

North Huntingdon police spotted Cochran driving a red GMC sport-utility vehicle with an expired registration around 7 p.m. July 7. Police initiated a traffic stop because they thought Cochran made a right turn onto Pennsylvania Avenue without signaling.

As officers talked with Cochran, they discovered she had a suspended license, expired insurance and no emissions sticker, according to the affidavit. Police notified Cochran the vehicle would be towed, and she would be issued several traffic citations.

Cochran is accused of placing her vehicle in reverse and nearly striking an officer as she took off when the tow truck arrived. Another officer ordered her to stop, but Cochran continued onto Pennsylvania Avenue, police said.

Police pursued Cochran for a short time and attempted to stop her vehicle as she traveled on Harrison Street in Penn Borough, according to the affidavit.

Cochran continued onto South Railroad Street and stopped in her driveway, police said.

Officers attempted to remove her from her vehicle, but she is accused of verbally and physically resisting the attempts, according to the affidavit.

Two officers removed Cochran from the vehicle and placed her in handcuffs.

An inventory of her purse was logged at the police station, where police said they found a prescription bottle with no label containing 22 purple tablets identified as Ritalin.

Cochran is free on $5,000 unsecured bail. A formal arraignment is set for Nov. 13.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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