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Escaped convict chased, charged

June 13, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN

A 32-year-old Hagerstown man and prison escapee led Hagerstown Police Department officers on a car chase into Pennsylvania early Monday, Lt. Richard Reynolds said.

Nick Tony Swan, of 744 Spruce St., was arrested in Pennsylvania after a Hagerstown Police Department officer used his cruiser to pin the stolen 1999 Ford Taurus that Swan was driving up against a guardrail, Reynolds said.

Swan was being held without bond Monday in Pennsylvania on charges filed through Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg.

Swan was charged with reckless endangerment, theft more than $500, resisting arrest, assorted traffic charges, aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding, drug possession, possession of a stolen vehicle and two counts each of first-degree and second-degree assault, according to a written release from Sgt. Tim Wolford.

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The chase started at about 2:45 a.m. on The Terrace in Hagerstown, Wolford said.

Swan, who had been held at the Maryland Correctional Training Center south of Hagerstown, walked off from work detail as a dishwasher at Fountain Head Country Club in late April, police have said. He was serving a 2 1/2-year sentence for drug possession, according to published reports.

Police officers attempted to stop Swan on The Terrace near Prospect Avenue at about 2:45 a.m. after they said he nearly rear-ended another car in the 1999 Ford Taurus he was driving, Reynolds said. A later check with the owner of the Taurus determined it was stolen, Wolford wrote.

Swan sped away and led police on a chase onto Northern Avenue, where he drove west toward Pennsylvania Avenue, Reynolds said. An officer following the car tried to get beside the vehicle on Northern Avenue, but Swan swerved toward that officer's cruiser, Reynolds alleged. When Swan reached Pennsylvania Avenue, where another officer was setting up stop sticks, he tried "to swerve toward that officer," Reynolds said.

Maryland State Police set up stop sticks on U.S. 11 near Sheetz at Maugans Avenue, but Swan avoided them and proceeded north, Reynolds said. Swan took Exit 3 north onto Interstate 81, got off at Exit 5, crossed Pa. 16 and attempted to get back onto I-81 northbound but was stopped, Reynolds said.

"He went north on the ramp, struck a guardrail and tried to ram an officer," Reynolds said. Reynolds said another officer was able to use his cruiser to pin the Taurus against a guardrail.

Two Hagerstown Police Department cruisers sustained "less than moderate" damage in the chase and were back on the roads by 9:30 a.m. Monday, Reynolds said. No officers were injured, he said.

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