By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG — A Northumberland County woman allegedly struck four police cars before being apprehended following a high-speed, 34-mile chase through Union County that landed her in jail and facing 40 charges.
Once the chase was over, Leslie Ann Arthurs, 29, of Sunbury, was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for a physical examination before being arraigned Saturday night in Union County by District Judge Leo Armbruster.
Arthurs is in Union County Jail on $100,000 straight bail and is facing 40 counts, eight of them felony charges of aggravated assault and criminal mischief for the four police cars she hit. None of the officers in the vehicles were injured.
According to state police at Milton, the chase began about 12:50 p.m. Saturday when Arthurs, driving a 1991 black Jeep Cherokee, drove through the yard and reportedly was “doing doughnuts” at 6543 Buffalo Road in Mifflinburg, which is Route 192, at the intersection with Church Road.
Upon responding, state police followed Arthurs south on Church Road. She allegedly refused to stop and led police — including departments from Buffalo Valley Regional, Milton and Shamokin Dam — on a 34-mile chase that wound up on Route 15 north and, at times, reached speeds of 75 mph.
On Route 15 in Kelly Township, Arthurs alleged rammed the rear of a Milton police cruiser driven by Cpl. Daniel Embeck, who was assisting. Embeck was not injured, he said, but said Sunday that Arthurs “hit me hard.”
The chase continued north on Route 15 and onto the Interstate 80 westbound ramp where Embeck said concern was growing for other motorists. This led police to perform a “precision immobilization technique,” a law enforcement maneuver to end a car chase safely by bumping the fleeing car. This makes it turn sideways abruptly and causes the driver to lose control and stop.
The technique is typically used by law enforcement officers as a way to end car chases. However, Arthurs allegedly made several more attempts to flee, damaging three other police vehicles before her vehicle was stopped.
Arthurs also faces 15 misdemeanor counts that include reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, fleeing law enforcement and hit-and-run. She also faces 17 summary offenses, including driving without a license among other traffic violations. She is scheduled to appear before District Judge Jeffrey Mensch on Sept. 17 for her preliminary hearing.
The Daily Item could not confirm at press time Sunday if anyone resides at the Buffalo Road property where the incident began.