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Redbank Twp. man pleads guilty to police chase, other charges

| Friday, March 9, 2012

KITTANNING — A Redbank Township man, who was arrested after leading police on a car chase in December while in possession of a loaded firearm, pleaded guilty to charges related to the incident during a plea court presided over by Armstrong County Judge James J. Panchik on Thursday.

Tobias Wade Allen, 38, pleaded guilty to the charges of unlawfully possessing a firearm, criminal trespass, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and driving under the influence.

The charges stem from an early morning incident on Dec. 19, 2010. Police had tried to pull Allen's vehicle over for a traffic violation.

According to a police criminal complaint, Allen led police on a high-speed car chase from Kittanning, across the Citizens Bridge and on to Tarrtown Road in East Franklin at around 1:30 a.m. Police said Allen crashed the vehicle in the village of Tarrtown at Adrian Road and suffered minor lacerations to his ear and lip. He then fled on foot into the woods carrying a shotgun and fired in the vicinity of the Kittanning police officer who was in pursuit.

According to the affidavit, Allen fell through the ice on the Allegheny River before making his way to a field office trailer located about a mile from the crash scene. Police recovered the loaded shotgun, which had one expended round. Police also recovered traces of Allen's blood from the shotgun and from the ice on the river where the defendant fell. Allen was discovered in the trailer by police. His pants and boots were wet from the knee down and he was later found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.134 percent. The state legal limit is 0.08 percent.

Allen was charged with person not to possess a firearm because he had a previous conviction of unlawful restraint and was therefore not allowed to possess a firearm.

During plea court, Panchik asked Allen why he was in possession of a shotgun.

"I was hunting the day before," said Allen.

Allen admitted having a loaded gun was not a safe practice. He was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and a drug-and-alcohol evaluation. Allen is awaiting a sentencing date.

Failure to appear

A 28-year-old Brackenridge woman, who allegedly attacked deputies and a county detective in September after being sentenced on a drug charge, failed to appear in court on Thursday.

Christina Lynn Winstead, of 838 Cleveland Ave., was scheduled to appear in plea court on charges of aggravated assault, assault by a prisoner, disorderly conduct and simple assault.

Defense Attorney Debra Yost said that Winstead will be served with a bench warrant for failing to appear.

Winstead was arrested on Sept. 15 after she was sentenced to three months to two years less a day in the Armstrong County Jail on a charge of possession with intent to deliver.

According to court documents, after she was sentenced, Winstead was being escorted to a holding cell on the second floor of the courthouse when she ran from deputies. Winstead was unable to exit the area and allegedly resisted being handcuffed and had to be restrained by deputies. She continued to fight and struggle with deputies, hitting her head off the wall as the struggle continued.

As the deputies escorted Winstead out of the building, she allegedly attempted to throw herself down a set of steps and tried to kick out a partition and the windows in the vehicle while being transported to the jail.

According to the affidavit, a deputy sustained lacerations and gouges on his hands and was treated at ACMH Hospital.

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