Lehigh Valley

DUI suspect allegedly ditches crashed car, tries to outrun police

He allegedly drank a 12-pack before driving

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - An Allentown man accused of refusing to pull over for police, crashing into a utility pole and leading troopers on a foot chase allegedly downed a half case of beer before climbing behind the wheel.

Luis A. Martinez, of North Jordan Street, faces more than two dozen charges, including fleeing and alluding after the early-morning chase through Bethlehem on Saturday. District Judge Wayne Maura arraigned the 29-year-old early Sunday morning, setting bail at $100,000.

Pennsylvania State Police with the Bethlehem barracks said they first spotted Martinez shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday, while monitoring traffic along southbound Route 378 near Route 22. Troopers said they clocked his Honda Civic doing about 81 mph in a 55-mph zone, according to court records.

Authorities said they followed the car as it allegedly drifted over the center line before getting off Route 378 at the Center City exit. When troopers tried to conduct a traffic stop, Martinez allegedly ignored the lights, sirens and stop sign at the end of the ramp, according to court records.

Police followed the Civic north on Third Avenue and onto West Union Boulevard, where Martinez allegedly drove east in the westbound lane. He crossed the center line several times before blowing through a red light at West Union Boulevard and Main Street without slowing down, according to records.

Police said Martinez eventually tried making a left turn onto North New Street, where he lost control of the car and slid into an electrical pole. He abandoned the Civic and a foot chase ensued.

Martinez allegedly ignored orders to stop, and troopers chased him onto West Spruce Street, temporarily stopping him with a stun gun. He recovered, and the chase continued into the first block of West Spruce Street, where Martinez stumbled and was arrested.

Troopers said a search turned up a baggie of pot in his pocket. Martinez allegedly admitted to drinking a 12-pack and smoking some weed earlier in the night. And to make matters worse, authorities said a records search showed his license was suspended that he was wanted in Northampton County on a simple assault charge.

Police charged Martinez with a felony count of fleeing and eluding, misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, marijuana possession and driving under the influence and 23 summary traffic offenses.

Martinez failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 2.


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