Oil City Man Facing Charges After Police Chase on Icy Roads Held for Court

| January 31, 2020

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – An Oil City man was held for court Wednesday on charges related a police pursuit that occurred last week in Oil City.

Court documents indicate the following charges against 25-year-old John Bryan Johnson were held for court on Wednesday, January 28:

– Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Officer, Felony 3
– Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor
– Driving While BAC .02 or Greater While License Suspended, Summary
– Reckless Driving, Summary
– Failure To Stop At Red Signal, Summary (two counts)
– Driving at Safe Speed, Summary

The charges have been transferred to the Venango County Court of Common Pleas.

Johnson is currently lodged in the Venango County Jail on $15,000.00 monetary bail.

The charges stem from a police pursuit that occurred in Oil City in the early morning hours of January 21.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 1:53 a.m. on Tuesday, January 21, Lt. Ruditis, of the Oil City Police Department, observed a blue Chevrolet Malibu traveling on Seneca Street that made an abrupt right hand turn onto Sycamore Street and accelerated quickly. Lt. Ruditis then got behind the vehicle and verified the registration.

According to the complaint, the vehicle then made a right-hand turn onto Veterans Bridge, traveling toward the Southside of Oil City, and when it was approximately one-third of the way across the bridge, Lt. Ruditis was advised by Oil City Police dispatch that the registration on the vehicle was suspended.

At that time, Lt. Ruditis activated his emergency lights and siren. The complaint states the Chevrolet then began accelerating quickly across the bridge, reaching speeds of approximately 50 miles per hour or more.

When the vehicle reached the intersection of Veterans Bridge and East Front Street, it allegedly failed to stop at the flashing red indicator light and continued to State Street at East First Street. According to the complaint, at that intersection, the vehicle again failed to stop at the flashing red light and continued on State Street.

The complaint notes the driver continued to ignore the police lights and siren. While traveling on State Street in a residential area, the vehicle allegedly reached speeds of approximately 50 miles per hour or more on snow and ice-covered roadways.

According to the complaint, when the vehicle reached the 300 block of State Street, which becomes a dead-end street, it finally came to a stop. Lt. Ruditis then exited his patrol vehicle and began giving verbal commands to the driver, who was later identified as John Bryan Johnson.

The complaint states Johnson failed to exit the vehicle, and Lt. Ruditis then opened the driver’s door and was able to take him into custody without further incident.

According to the complaint, a search incident to arrest revealed Johnson was in possession of multiple syringes, new plastic baggies, used baggies with residue, digital scales with residue, and a silver spoon, all of which were seized.

Johnson was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Andrew F. Fish at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 21.


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