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Men face series of charges in vandalism spree

October 22, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE and DAVE McMILLION

julieg@herald-mail.com

charlestown@herald-mail.com

Two Tri-State-area men were arrested Sunday in Berkeley County, W.Va., after a vandalism spree stakeout in Franklin County, Pa., led to a three-state chase, police said.

Timothy W. Corbiser, 28, of 6455 Coffman Farms Road in Keedysville, was charged with fleeing in a vehicle, battery of a police officer and transporting stolen property into the state, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

David Martin Danfelt Jr., 32, of Martinsburg, W.Va., was charged with transporting stolen property into the state, court records said.

Danfelt was released on $5,000 bond, while Corbiser was still being held on $20,000 bond at Eastern Regional Jail Monday night.

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Pennsylvania State Police were staking out Paul Helm's Gas Station near Greencastle, Pa., on Saturday night because the station had been hit nine times this year by ball bearings, including four times since Aug. 24, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Eric Guyer said.

Dozens of businesses and cars in Franklin County, Pa., and Washington County have had windows shot out by a suspect or suspects using a slingshot and ball bearings during the last year to 18 months, police said.

Damage caused by the spree is estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, said Greg Alton, an investigator with the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

After police watched from an unmarked vehicle for about five hours, a metallic teal Ford Ranger pickup truck pulled up to the gas station around 3:35 a.m. Sunday and a ball bearing was fired from a slingshot, Guyer said.

State Police tried to pull over the pickup truck near the intersection of Pa. 16 and U.S. 11, but the driver ignored the lights and sirens, Guyer said.

Speeds during the pursuit varied, but Guyer said they were not excessive.

Police pursued the pickup for 25 minutes into West Virginia until the truck was stopped when the tires deflated after running over stop sticks placed on Hammonds Mills Road in Berkeley County by West Virginia State Police, Guyer said.

The pickup stopped across from the T&A Truck Stop off Exit 20 of I-81 in West Virginia, he said.

As West Virginia State Police Trooper R.A. Spearen II tried to arrest Corbiser, Spearen was "met with a left quick elbow from Corbiser," court records state.

Then Corbiser allegedly bit Spearen in the right forearm, court records state.

During the pursuit, the suspects tossed out slingshots and ball bearings, Guyer said. The round silver ball bearings are 3/8 inch in diameter, about the size of a chickpea, he said.

A ball bearing, a sling from a slingshot and a large amount of cash were found in the pickup truck, court records state.

Maryland State Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Department aided in the pursuit, Guyer said.

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