Philipsburg man faces felony fleeing charges

A Philipsburg man faces felony charges after being taken into custody last week following a high-speed chase.

Hunter R. Anderson, 23, reportedly led police on a high-speed pursuit through Centre and Blair counties early June 3 before losing control of the vehicle, state police said. The vehicle traveled off the roadway and became airborne off an about 10-foot cement flood wall, overturning several times before coming to a rest in the river.

On May 24, a situation with a police presence in Wallaceton kept some Philipsburg-Osceola students from leaving school. State police had information that Anderson was believed to be staying at an address in the 300 block of Clearfield Street in Wallaceton, as previously reported.

According to the criminal complaint filed by state police at Philipsburg, troopers were alerted on May 19 that Anderson could possibly be driving a red pickup truck in the area. A trooper on patrol in Osceola Mills reportedly spotted Anderson driving a red truck with a known friend, Nicholas J. Baney, 25, of Osceola Mills.

The trooper followed the truck into Rush Township and attempted to take Anderson into custody off Curtin Park Court, police said. When the trooper identified himself, Anderson reportedly fled the scene at a high rate of speed.

The chase traveled down Curtin Street onto the railroad tracks, police said, where the trooper was forced to terminate the pursuit. Troopers reportedly found the truck disabled and abandoned near Phoenix Road with blood on the inside.

Baney was interviewed on May 22, police said, and denied ever being involved with a police pursuit. When asked about a cut on his nose, he reported he had been injured riding ATVs with Anderson on May 19.

He later reportedly changed his story to riding ATVs on May 18, police said. He allegedly denied knowing Anderson was wanted by the police and said he’d heard about the pursuit from a third party.

A known male said he had been with Baney on May 20, police said, and reported saying he’d been in a “wild ride” when he injured his nose. Baney reportedly admitted to the man to being in a pursuit with Anderson when the vehicle had crashed and they escaped along the railroad tracks.

Troopers interviewed Anderson at Centre County Correctional Facility on June 4, police said, who reportedly said he had been prepared to turn himself in on May 19 when Baney told him to “go.” He allegedly admitted to traveling about 80 mph down the railroad tracks before the truck broke down.

Anderson faces two felony fleeing charges from March 29 and May 19, according to court documents, as well as numerous summary traffic offenses on both dates. He was arraigned Thursday before District Judge Allen Sinclair who set straight monetary bail at $100,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Baney also faces charges of false reports and unsworn falsification to authorities, court documents said.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews