State College woman who drove police cruiser handcuffed headed to prison

For the CDTJanuary 14, 2014 

— A State College woman who drove an unmarked state police cruiser while her hands were cuffed behind her back is headed to state prison.

Janica R. Germello, 25, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lycoming County in that case and four others.

She is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison but, under terms of a plea agreement, she will be evaluated for a two-year state prison program that includes drug treatment.

Germello will be taken to the State Correctional Institution at Muncy for the evaluation. Judge Nancy L. Butts told her she has an addiction problem.

Germello, who was living in the 100 block of Toter Lane before being arrested, has been in jail since the Sept. 7 incident with the state police cruiser.

She told Butts she had gone to Williamsport on Sept. 7 to meet a man for prostitution purposes.

When she got into his pickup truck, he identified himself as a state trooper and attempted to take her into custody. She ran but was caught, handcuffed and placed in an unmarked cruiser.

En route to the state police barracks in Montoursville on Interstate 180, she attempted to escape because she said she did not want to go to jail. She acknowledged to the judge she was not cooperative.

According to the charges, the trooper stopped the vehicle, got out and went to the passenger side with plans to better secure Germello in the front seat.

She slid over the console, locked the doors and drove off still handcuffed. Another trooper, who was following in the truck, pursued her and the chase ended in suburban Loyalsock Township.

Charges to which Germello pleaded guilty in that case were fleeing apprehension, escape, resisting arrest and possession of heroin.

Police said they found 10 bags of heroin, 10 empty bags, six hypodermic needles and a plastic container with heroin residue in her purse.

Germello also pleaded guilty to charges in four other 2013 cases. These counts included writing a bad check, attempted prostitution, possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of heroin and retail theft.

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