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North Huntingdon driver apologizes after leading police on Route 30 chase

Renatta Signorini
| Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, 2:09 p.m.
Tracy Steele Painter
Tracy Steele Painter

A North Huntingdon man apologized after he allegedly led police on a car chase Saturday through a heavily populated area of the township and onto a farm, according to court papers.

Tracy Steele Painter, 54, was intoxicated when he tried to hit police pursuing him in Hahntown, not far from his home, authorities allege.

Painter was arraigned Wednesday on aggravated assault and related offenses. He is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $10,000 bail.

North Huntingdon officers were notified of an erratic driver traveling west on Route 30 at 6:40 p.m. Saturday. Patrolman Thomas Harris reported he recognized the license plate of a Honda Civic as belonging to Painter, who has had “past violent tendencies with law enforcement” he said in a criminal complaint.

Painter allegedly drove toward his Hahntown home, crossing over the center line of Main Street multiple times while police attempted a traffic stop. On Rose Street, he “drove his vehicle at two marked police units which had to move out of the way to avoid being hit,” Harris wrote in the complaint.

Painter allegedly drove off a dirt road and onto a farm, struck a fence and attempted to run from police.

“He said that he was sorry for running from us,” Harris wrote.

Police found an open can of Yuengling beer in the center console of his car and an empty bottle of Yukon Jack whiskey in the back seat, according to the complaint. Painter was taken to AHN Forbes Hospital for a blood test.

He is charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence and agricultural trespass. He did not have an attorney listed in online court records.

An Oct. 18 preliminary hearing is set.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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