Man allegedly fled police to avoid traffic stop

A Penn State student faces misdemeanor charges after allegedly fleeing an officer after a traffic stop.

According to the criminal complaint filed by State College police, an officer patrolling South Pugh Street at about 2:10 a.m. April 16 observed a male on a moped exiting the Pugh parking garage with no lights. The officer initiated a traffic stop along East Beaver Avenue.

The driver pulled over to the side near Highland Avenue, police said, put down the kickstand and immediately ran south toward Highland. The officer chased the suspect, telling him to stop.

The suspect ran through several groups of pedestrians, police said, heading east on Highland. He then reportedly entered the backyard of a property and then headed toward East Foster Avenue, where the officer lost contact of him.

During the course of the investigation, the owner of the moped arrived on scene, police said. When shown surveillance photos of the suspect, the owner denied knowing him.

The officer later met with the owner who reportedly admitted knowing the suspect, police said, and identified him as Wyatt A. Hartman, 19, of Trappe. The officer was able to confirm his identity through his driver’s license.

Hartman was charged via summons Wednesday by District Judge Carmine Prestia, according to court documents, and charged with misdemeanor counts of fleeing officers, escape and disorderly conduct. A preliminary hearing is slated for May 31.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews