Man Charged for Fleeing Police on ATV in Forest County

| May 31, 2019

FOREST CO., Pa. (EYT) – A man caught illegally operating an ATV on a road not designated for ATV use is facing charges after allegedly fleeing police in Forest County.

Court documents indicate the Forest County Sheriff’s Office filed criminal charges against 34-year-old Derek E. Brietich, of Elizabeth, Pa.

According to a criminal complaint, on Friday, May 24, Chief Deputy Carbaugh, of the Forest County Sheriff’s Office, was arriving at his residence in a marked patrol vehicle when he noticed three ATVs traveling south on Blue Ridge Road in Barnett Township, Forest County. He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicles, as the roadway is not designated as an approved, posted ATV access road.

When he activated his overhead lights, all three vehicles stopped. As he approached the vehicles on foot, he detected a strong odor of alcohol and then asked the drivers if they had been drinking, to which they replied that they had, the complaint states.

Chief Deputy Carbaugh then asked the drivers to submit to a battery of field sobriety tests.

According to the complaint, at the conclusion of the sobriety tests on the first driver, Chief Deputy Carbaugh concluded that he was incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle and placed him under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence.

The complaint notes that at that time, the second driver, later identified as Derek E. Brietich, then stated “F*** this,” jumped back in his side-by-side, and sped away from the scene.

After concluding field sobriety tests on the remaining driver, Chief Deputy Carbaugh transported him back to his camp and transported the first driver to the Forest County Sheriff’s Office for BAC testing and then to his camp.

According to the complaint, upon arriving at the first driver’s camp, Chief Deputy Carbaugh observed the side-by-side that had fled the scene, though the owner of the camp was not there.

Chief Deputy Carbaugh then transported the first driver to another friend’s camp before returning to his residence where he was able to receive cell phone service to contact Sheriff Wolfgang.

Wolfgang advised Chief Deputy Carbaugh to contact the Forest County District Attorney about impounding the side-by-side.

Chief Deputy Carbaugh then contacted District Attorney Barb Litten and was advised to contact a local towing company to have the vehicle impounded.

The complaint notes that around 9:50 a.m., Brietich called the Forest County Sheriff’s Office and left a voicemail implying that he wanted to turn himself in and stating that he was willing to give a written statement.

Based on the investigation, the following charges were filed in Magisterial District Judge Daniel L. Miller’s office on Tuesday, May 28:

– Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Officer, Misdemeanor 2
– Operation on Streets and Highways, Summary
– Unlawful Operation Snow/ATV Without Helmet, Summary
– Driving While BAC .02 or Greater While License Suspended, Summary
– Unlawful Operation – Registration Decal or Plate

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25, with Judge Miller presiding.

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