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Cops: Hempfield man arrested twice in 90 minutes

Renatta Signorini
| Tuesday, July 3, 2018, 11:57 a.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

A Hempfield man who was arrested twice in about 90 minutes early Tuesday landed in jail after police said he stole a car because he didn't have a ride home.

Anthony Andrew Bittinger, 19, allegedly was drunk when he damaged at least seven parked vehicles in Greensburg and led police on a short foot chase, according to court papers.

He is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $85,000 bond.

Bittinger's first run-in with Greensburg police Tuesday was at 12:42 a.m. in an alley behind Perry Avenue. Police said in an affidavit that he was involved in an argument and they found inside his bag a small amount of marijuana, a digital scale and a can of Twisted Tea. He was charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and purchasing alcohol as a minor.

Officers took him home, police said.

At 2:16 a.m., police noticed a portion of Perry Avenue in Greensburg filled with smog and a vehicle with a loud exhaust in the area. Officers saw several severely damaged parked vehicles. They came upon a silver Honda Accord traveling on Vine Street that was smoking and also damaged, police said in a complaint.

Bittinger fled on foot from the car, but was apprehended in a nearby yard, police said.

Investigators learned the car had been stolen from Catherine Street, which is about a half-mile from the address Bittinger lists as his residence.

Bittinger told officers: “‘I'm sorry I stole the car, but I didn't have a ride home,'” according to the affidavit.

His blood-alcohol content was .118 percent, police said. The legal limit to drive in Pennsylvania is .08.

He is charged with theft, receiving stolen property, fleeing from police, driving under the influence and numerous other offenses. Preliminary hearings in both cases are set for July 12. Bittinger did not have an attorney listed in online court records.

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

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