Man accused in police chase near Westmoreland air show faces over 40 charges
A Jeannette man who caused a scene at the Westmoreland County Airshow May 26 led troopers on a vehicle pursuit that reached speeds of 92 mph before he was arrested in the woods near the airport in Unity, according to court documents.
Among the most serious of 47 charges filed Wednesday against Eric P. Rusiewicz, 47, are driving under the influence of a controlled substance and fleeing and eluding police in connection with the incident that began after he allegedly sped past a trooper patrolling busy Route 30 about noon near the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity during the air show.
Troopers allege Rusiewicz eventually abandoned his Chrysler 300, climbed a fence at the airport during the chase and was captured in a wooded area by county park police after K-9 Rex was called to assist, according to court documents filed before District Judge Michael Mahady.
Trooper Troy Faulk reported that he was working a traffic detail when Rusiewicz’s westbound car drove past the Route 982 intersection driving 62 mph in a 45 mph zone. When Faulk attempted to pull over Rusiewicz in a marked patrol car, Rusiewicz turned on to St. Vincent Drive “traveling northbound in the southbound lane.”
At one point, Faulk reported in court documents that Rusiewicz was driving 92 mph in the posted 35 mph zone.
Rusiewicz eventually led pursuing troopers onto campus property, and turned left on to Monastery Drive “traveling off the roadway several times,” according to court documents.
When Rusiewicz’s car returned onto Route 30 at the St. Vincent Drive intersection, Faulk alleges that he drove through a red light, across both westbound lanes, over a concrete traffic island on the highway and headed east toward the airport.
Police said Rusiewicz pulled into a gravel driveway on the southbound lanes of Route 30 near the airport, abandoned his car and fled through a wooded area before being caught.
“Rusiewicz admitted using heroin … he would not follow instructions to sit still and he kept standing up swinging his arms,” Faulk wrote.
Rusiewicz has not yet been arraigned on the charges filed Wednesday before Mahady. Rusiewicz could not be reached for comment.
In addition to DUI and fleeing and eluding, Rusiewicz was cited with 10 counts of failing to stay in the proper traffic lane, seven counts of careless driving, six counts of driving on the wrong side of the road, three counts each of failure to yield and making illegal turns and two counts of driving at an unsafe speed.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .