The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Union County

February 3, 2014

Police: Drunken man tried to escape

— LEWISBURG — A Northumberland County man, secured to a bench in a holding room at police headquarters, failed in an alleged escape attempt through a window after he broke the bolts on the bench and tried to run, still attached to the seat.

Buffalo Valley Regional Police have charged Jonathan Swales, 31, of Watsontown, with three misdemeanors, two counts of driving under the influence and one of escape. He also faces three summary charges of careless driving, driving under the influence with a suspended license and criminal mischief.

Swales will face District Judge Leo S. Armbruster, of Lewisburg, for a preliminary hearing March 13.

Swales’ arrest stems from a Dec. 21 incident, during which a police officer said he saw Swales’ Dodge Caravan strike the curb in front of the Dunkin Donuts at Route 15 and North Fourth Street in Lewisburg, the affidavit states. Two women walking in front of the building almost were struck by debris, police report.

Police followed the vehicle, which became disabled near Weis Markets northbound on Route 15. Swales was standing beside it, police said, when they observed both passenger-side tires had been blown out, likely from hitting the curb.

Police found during a check on Swales, who did not have identification, that his license was suspended for a previous DUI and he was wanted in Montour County. Swales failed field sobriety tests, police said, and he was arrested and taken to Evangelical Community Hospital for a blood sample.

Swales then was take to Buffalo Valley Regional Police headquarters to await the Montour County sheriff’s arrival for the outstanding warrant. It was there that Swales was secured to a bolted-down bench in the holding room, the affidavit states.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived, Swales was found to have pulled the bench from the floor, breaking the bolts that kept it in place, and was trying to open a window. When asked what he was doing, Swales told police he was warm and wanted to open the window, the affidavit states. He then was taken to Montour County.

The sample taken from Swales revealed a blood-alcohol content of 0.158 percent, the affidavit states.

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