An Athens Borough man is facing charges following a high-speed chase that looped around the New York and Pennsylvania border on Saturday, Feb. 6.
Owego Police Chief Joseph Kennedy said that the pursuit started on North Avenue near the intersection of Temple Street when a grey Prius nearly hit a police car head-on at about 7:28 p.m.
He said that the Owego police officer pulled the car over, and that within minutes it took off on 17C.
The car reached a high rate of speed, up towards 100 MPH, according to Chief Kennedy.
The pursuit brought in assistance from police in Owego, Waverly, the New York State Police, Sayre and the Pennsylvania State Police.
The Owego and Waverly police departments had been in active pursuit when the Sayre Police Department provided assistance at about 7:52 p.m. on North Elmira Street in Athens borough, according to the criminal complaint.
The Sayre officers said that the Waverly officers allowed them to pass at that time and take the lead as Maxwell J. Harvey-Sampson, 27, of Athens borough, turned left on Hugh Street.
Court documents show that Harvey-Sampson wasn’t speeding at that time and refused to pull over when police had the emergency lights and siren on.
The police report reads that he ran through over 20 stop signs and multiple solid red traffic lights during the pursuit. It also shows that Harvey-Sampson nearly rammed into a car on West Lockhart Street in Sayre Borough.
Harvey-Sampson circled through Sayre and Athens Township and zoomed down North Main Street through Athens borough a second time at approximately 80 MPH in a posted 35 MPH zone, according to police.
The affidavit of probable cause shows that once he looped back up to Sayre borough and disregarded the solid red light when turning onto North Keystone Avenue, he intentionally attempted to swerve into the police cruiser that was trying to drive on the left side of him to warn oncoming traffic. The officer said he had to slow down and swerve left to avoid impact.
Police said that the New York State Police eventually set up spike strips on Route 220 and successfully spiked the left tires of Harvey-Sampson’s car.
He then went back down on the on ramp and got back on Route 220 northbound and proceeded to cross the border into New York.
Another NYSP trooper was able to spike his right tires on Chemung Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Waverly, according to the affidavit.
Police said that once all of the tires in Harvey-Sampson’s car were flat, he could only maintain about 15-20 MPH.
He then turned right onto Cayuta Street and almost struck a NYSP vehicle before coming back to Chemung Street.
Court documents show that at that time, NYSP took the lead in the pursuit.
As police followed Harvey-Sampson when he turned left onto another street in Waverly near Barton, he rammed into the police car, according to the affidavit.
Both vehicles were sent into a snow bank and Harvey-Sampson could no longer drive the car.
Police said that he locked his car doors and refused to exit the vehicle. Harvey-Sampson had to be forcibly removed from the vehicle and continued to resist arrest. He was at one point tasered by an Owego Police Officer, according to the criminal complaint.
Police noted that he was in an “altered state of mind,” and due to being tased and having an “altered level of consciousness” he was brought to the ER at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital.
The pursuit was over an hour long, and police were in active pursuit for about 40 minutes.
He was charged with two counts of the schedule 3 felonies for fleeing or attempting to elude an officer and simple violations for reckless driving and careless driving.
According to police, Harvey-Sampson was confined to the Bradford County Correctional Facility on Sunday where he is currently unable to post a $35,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 16.
(Owego Pennysaver Editor, Wendy Post, contributed to this report.)