Lehigh Valley

Suspect allegedly leads police on chase, crashing twice

He was caught with pot, 9mm and hollow points

After allegedly running from authorities and crashing into two vehicles along the way, a Forks Township man was caught with pot, a 9mm handgun and hollow point bullets.

Salaam E. Stewart, of the 200 block of Ramblewood Drive, is facing nearly a dozen charges, including fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest and drug possession following a chase that started Thursday night in Glendon. District Judge Antonia Grifo arraigned the 29-year-old late Friday morning, setting bail at $75,000.

A Pennsylvania State Police trooper with the Belfast barracks first spotted Stewart’s white BMW on Main Street in Glendon and determined his driver’s license was suspended, according to court records. When the trooper tried to pull the car over in the 2000 block of South 25th Street in Palmer Township, Stewart drove through the Children’s Home of Easton parking lot, onto Front Street and back onto 25th Street, heading toward Freemansburg Avenue, according to records.

Authorities allege Stewart struck a Smart Car and kept driving east on Freemansburg Avenue at more than 75 mph and eventually driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Police followed as Stewart wound his way through Wilson Borough eventually heading east on Wood Avenue, where he drove into the opposite lane of traffic and collided head-on with a GMC Denali in the area of the Route 22 eastbound on-ramp.

His vehicle disabled, Stewart allegedly hopped out with a backpack and ran east on Wood Avenue toward 13th Street. He ignored orders to stop and was eventually wrestled to the ground, according to police.

While Stewart sat on the ground handcuffed, the trooper said he smelled marijuana wafting from the bag. That’s when Stewart allegedly admitted that he just bought a quarter pound of weed and that he had a gun in the bag.

Police allegedly found in the bag 96 grams of pot, an unloaded 9mm Springfield XD handgun and a 9mm magazine with four hollow-point bullets. Stewart also had $916 in his pocket.

A records check revealed Stewart did not have a license to carry a gun. Records also showed he was not the gun’s registered owner.

Police charged Stewart with felony counts of possession with intent to deliver and carrying a firearm without a license and misdemeanor counts of accidents involving damaged property, fleeing police, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana for personal use. He also faces four summary traffic offenses.

Stewart failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for March 31.

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