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Two apprehended following pursuit

December 24, 2005|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

Two people wanted on outstanding warrants from Maryland and Pennsylvania were apprehended Friday afternoon by Washington County Sheriff's Department deputies following a brief car chase that ended on Old Forge Road when the driver of the fleeing car crashed into an oncoming Sheriff's Department cruiser.

James Anthony Reese, 26, of no fixed address, the driver of the gray Buick LeSabre involved in the chase, was wanted on three outstanding Washington County warrants dating back to April 2004, including felony theft, attempted felony theft and fourth-degree burglary, according to Greg Alton, an investigator with the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Reese also was wanted on motor vehicle violations, including driving on a suspended license and fleeing and eluding police, Alton said. Reese also was wanted on outstanding warrants from Franklin County, Pa., Alton said.

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As a result of the chase, Reese was charged Friday with fleeing and eluding, hit and run, driving on a suspended license, operating an unregistered vehicle, first-degree assault and second-degree assault, Alton said.

Melissa Diann Turner, 32, of no fixed address, the passenger in the LeSabre, was wanted on outstanding warrants from Washington and Franklin counties. Alton said Turner is wanted in Washington County on three outstanding warrants dating back to August 2004, including attempted felony theft, conspiracy to commit felony theft and theft under $500.

Turner also was wanted on motor vehicle violations, including driving on a suspended license, Alton said.

Alton said an undercover narcotics task force agent spotted the LeSabre in the area of Bramly Court about 4:30 p.m. and began to follow the car. Alton said he believes Reese, the driver, realized he was being followed by an undercover agent and tried to shake him, initiating a 10-minute pursuit through residential and commercial areas.

Alton said the vehicle eventually crossed over the center line of Old Forge Road at about 50 mph and hit an oncoming Sheriff's Department cruiser responding to the chase. About 30 minutes elapsed between the time the undercover agent identified the car and the time it crashed into the cruiser, Alton said.

Alton said the Sheriff's Department had been looking for Reese and Turner since they eluded capture in early December in Pennsylvania and were notified by officers there.

According to previously published reports, police arrested Reese, Turner and three other individuals in September 2004 in connection with several thefts in Franklin and Washington Counties in July and August of that year. The Washington County Sheriff's Department at the time said the individuals stole several items, including jewelry, tools, dirt bikes and wood chippers.

Alton said no one was injured in the chase. Reese and Turner were scheduled for appearances before a Washington County District Court commissioner later Friday.

Police in Greencastle and Waynesboro were unable to comment on the arrests Friday. A dispatcher at the Waynesboro Police Department said officers were waiting for more information from Washington County.

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