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Hagerstown man pleads guilty, sentenced to state prison

September 14, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A prison escapee from Maryland who led police on a high-speed chase into Pennsylvania in June entered guilty pleas and was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court for the offenses that took place north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Nick Tony Swan, 32, of 744 Spruce St., Hagerstown, pleaded guilty before Judge John R. Walker to a felony criminal mischief charge, as well as simple assault, fleeing police and driving under the influence. Walker sentenced Swan to two to 8 1/2 years in state prison.

Public Defender Michael Toms said that, as part of the plea agreement, the sentence Swan received Wednesday will be served concurrently with whatever sentence he gets if convicted of the charges he faces in Maryland.

Swan was charged with reckless endangerment, theft of more than $500, resisting arrest, aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding police, drug possession, possession of a stolen vehicle and two counts each of first-degree and second-degree assault, Hagerstown City Police said at the time of the incident.

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City police attempted to stop Swan for a traffic violation on The Terrace near Prospect Avenue at about 2:45 a.m. on June 12 as he was driving a 1999 Ford Taurus which police later learned was stolen. Swan sped off with police in pursuit and attempted to swerve toward one cruiser on Northern Avenue and toward an officer trying to set out stop sticks on Pennsylvania Avenue, police said.

Maryland State Police also joined the chase, which continued onto Interstate 81 and into Pennsylvania, police said. When Swan got off I-81 at Exit 5 in Greencastle, Pa., an officer used his police cruiser to pin the stolen car against a guardrail.

Swan was serving a 2 1/2-year sentence for drug possession when he walked off a work detail as a dishwasher at Fountain Head Country Club in April, according to a published report.

Walker ordered Swan to pay $1,972 in restitution to Hagerstown City Police for damage to two police cruisers. He was given credit for time served since his arrest.

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