Several State College and Penn State police officers were led on separate high-speed chases early Thursday before the suspected driver was taken into custody.
According to the criminal complaint filed by State College police, an officer reported seeing a black coupe traveling at a high rate of speed at about 12:50 a.m. along East College Avenue. The officer activated his lights and sirens, but the vehicle did not stop.
The coupe turned onto South Fraser Street before turning right at a red light and heading the wrong way down West Beaver Avenue, police said. The officer terminated the pursuit but radioed in a description of the vehicle.
A few minutes later, police said, the officer reportedly observed the coupe along East Fairmount Avenue, but lost sight of it.
At about 1 a.m., a second officer observed the coupe heading north at a high rate of speed on University Drive, police said, estimating the car was going between 50-60 mph. A third officer posted along High Street reportedly observed the coupe run a stop sign at Keller Street and East Foster Avenue before heading directly at the officer’s patrol unit.
The coupe was again traveling fast and was going to cause a head-on crash, police said, before the officer maneuvered out of the way. The vehicle reportedly struck its tires on the curb as it passed the officer and again disappeared.
Two more officers reported seeing the vehicle speeding toward campus, where it was again lost near Pollock Road, police said. A search by State College and Penn State police officers located the coupe parked near Bigler Road.
The vehicle bore a New York license plate, police said, but no one was inside. While search for the driver, a male was reported entering the coupe and leading Penn State police on another pursuit, reportedly traveling the wrong way down McKean Road and running a red light at the intersection of Shortlidge Road and East College Avenue.
The vehicle ran a second red light at the intersection of East Beaver Avenue, police said, nearly colliding with an SUV. Witnesses reported seeing the vehicle park in the Centre Court parking deck and a male walking from the area.
One officer located the vehicle, police said, and reported seeing marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside the car.
Officers located the male, identified as Christopher Colindres, 22, of Mount Kisco, N.Y., walking on South Garner Street, police said. A witness also identified Colindres as the driver.
Colindres reportedly admitted to having the keys to the coupe, police said, and was reported to have an odor of alcohol about it. A breathalyzer reportedly showed a BAC of 0.047 percent and Colindres performed unsatisfactorily on a sobriety test.
The coupe’s owner was located, police said, and provided police with text messages from Colindres saying he was leading police on a pursuit. Colindres reportedly admitted to drinking, smoking marijuana and snorting Xanax prior to driving, and was also found to have a suspended driver’s license.
Colindres was arraigned Thursday by District Judge Carmine Prestia, according to court documents, and charged with a felony count of fleeing police, a misdemeanor charge of DUI and several summary counts including reckless driving, failure to stop at a red signal and driving while privileges are suspended. Straight monetary bail was set at $75,000.
A preliminary hearing is slated for Wednesday.