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Cop who was dragged by car says he was ready to pull gun

March 26, 2001

Cop who was dragged by car says he was ready to pull gun



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


A Chambersburg Police officer testified Monday that he believed he was going to be killed by a car full of teenagers when he was dragged down a borough street after a traffic stop.

"I was reaching for my gun. I though I might be able to get off a few shots at the driver," said Sgt. Glenn Manns as he recounted the Feb. 26 incident near the Southgate Shopping Center during a preliminary hearing Monday.

Charles W. Flory, 19, and Justin L. Souders, 18, were charged with one count each of criminal attempt homicide, aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and reckless endangerment of another person.

Neither man testified during the hearing before District Justice Gary Carter Tuesday, but Manns and Detective Sgt. Dianne Kelso outlined the events and interviews subsequent to the incident.

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Souders' attorney, Madelaine Baturin, of Harrisburg, asked for most charges against him to be dropped, saying the Franklin County District Attorneys Office did not have sufficient evidence.

Carter declined and both men face arraignment May 9.

Carter agreed to reduce Souders' bail to $100,000. Flory, of 5347 Racetrack Road in St. Thomas, Pa., and Souders, of 1051 Hade Road in Chambersburg, had been in Franklin County Prison on $300,000 bail each since their arrests.

During Monday's hearing, Manns said he was on foot patrol in the vicinity of the Southgate Shopping Center when he stopped to speak with Franklin County Commissioner Robert Thomas outside of Franklin County Republican Party headquarters.

Manns, a 25-year veteran of the department, said heard a car with loud music approaching at around 3:30 p.m.

"As I stepped off the curb, the driver and front-seat passenger were laughing and had been almost sliding into the vehicle in front of them," Manns testified.

He stopped the red car and asked the driver, Flory, for his license and to stop tapping the accelerator.

Flory did not comply with his requests, Manns testified, and said he reached inside the vehicle in an attempt to turn off the ignition because he believed Flory was going to flee.

Flory accelerated and Manns said someone in the car grabbed his left arm and he was unable to free himself.

He said he ran with the car for about 20 yards and then held onto the car with his right arm for as long as he could to avoid being dragged as it traveled south on Cedar Street.

Manns said he released his grip when he reached for his gun. At the same time, his left arm was released and Manns said he fell to the roadway and was run over by the car as it turned left onto Catherine Street.

Manns said the incident lasted about 10 seconds and his injuries included cuts and scrapes to his hand and injuries to his elbow and foot.

With the help of witnesses, Pennsylvania State Police tracked down a car and five occupants less than an hour later, Kelso said.

She said those interviewed that evening all gave the same account of events, but said that Manns grabbed Flory's face with his hand.

Only Flory and Souders, who is accused of holding Manns' arm as Flory took off, were charged in the incident.

Baturin argued Souders was not holding onto Manns' arm as the car accelerated, but was trying to free the officer's grasp from Flory as they fled the area.

Both men will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. May 9 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

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