Lehigh Valley

Allentown officer dragged by dirt bike, injured

Chase occurred outside Allentown Central Catholic

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Authorities allege that a teen taunting officers while riding a dirt bike last week nearly crashed into an Allentown high school as students were dismissed for the day.

Police charged Dakais J. Phillips, of Ridge Avenue in Allentown, with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and nine summary traffic offenses following his arrest Friday afternoon near Allentown Central Catholic High School. District Judge Michael Pochron arraigned the 19-year-old later that night, setting bail at $5,000.

A pair of plainclothes Allentown police officers in an unmarked car first spotted the red dirt bike in the area of Fourth and Gordon streets about 1:15 p.m. Friday. The dirt bike rode through a red light at the intersection and passed the car.

The rider, later identified as Phillips, reportedly made eye contact with the officers in the car, made a U-turn and began following the car south on Fourth Street, according to court records.

Police said Allentown Central was letting out for the day, so the area was busy with students, school buses and other traffic in the 300 block of Fourth Street as Phillips began speeding to catch up with the car.

Citing the heavy traffic and students, a detective in the car began to open the car door to prevent Phillips from passing. That’s when he allegedly kicked the door and tried to push it closed, pinning the detective’s leg, according to records.

The detective chased after Phillips on foot and managed to catch up and grab him, when the dirt bike wouldn’t start. But Phillips managed to start the bike, dragging the detective for a short distance onto the sidewalk and nearly crashed into the high school.

The detective was injured and unable to chase Phillips; a second officer in the car managed to catch Phillips in the 200 block of Elliger Street.

Phillips was released from Lehigh County Jail Saturday after posting bail. His next court date is a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 22.


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