Lehigh Valley

Two suspects charged in chase that injured Allentown officers

Driver charged with attempted homicide

Allentown chase

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Police have named the two suspects arrested for their alleged connection to a chase that injured three Allentown police officers on Friday afternoon.

David Estes, 36, and Danielle Neff, 25, both of Allentown, are facing a slew of charges following the incident that occurred near a major event being attended by Gov. Tom Corbett and many other dignitaries.

Estes has been charged with attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding, drug possession with intent to deliver, receiving stolen property, and several other charges.

Neff is being charged with receiving stolen property and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Police say the chase started around 2:30 p.m., when patrol units attempted to stop a vehicle being driven by Estes, a narcotics suspect, in the area of North 7th and Allen streets.

The pursuit traveled into Whitehall Township, then eventually back into the city, where officers observed several traffic violations, at a safe distance from Estes, according to police.

Estes eventually drove through the 500 Block of Linden Street at a high rate of speed, and was forced to stop due to heavy traffic at the intersection of North 6th and Linden.

During the chase, one officer on a bike was hit by the suspect vehicle. The suspect also ran into a police car, injuring another officer. A third officer was hurt while making the arrest. All of the injured officers are expected to recover.

The chase eventually ended in the area of North 6th and Gordon streets, where the suspects were taken into custody.

A search warrant of the defendant's residence uncovered two handguns, one of which was stolen. A search of the defendant's vehicle yielded approximately 14 grams of methamphetamine.

The incident interrupted a major Allentown event:

At the time of the incident, the Pennsylvania Society was holding a luncheon in a huge tent at 6th and Linden streets.

"The PA Society is one of the oldest and most prestigious organizations in the commonwealth. It's [comprised of] business and political leaders that are dedicated to civic engagement," explained State Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh).

The rear-ended police car apparently was pushed into a utility pole along Linden Street near the luncheon tent.

"All of the sudden the sirens were just blaring and really close and then all of the sudden bam, bam and then another bam," explained Charlie Breene of Oil City. "There was a lot of good security here, so they were all running."

Title of the annual luncheon was "The Miracle that is Allentown."

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, cabinet secretaries, state senators and Congressman Charlie Dent were at the luncheon, which was attended by 400 to 500 people.

While the incident may have happened at an inopportune time, it didn't seem to change people's opinions of the city.

"I think they understand this thing could have happened anywhere and probably does from day to day, just not necessarily right in front of the Pennsylvania Society's annual luncheon," said Gerow.

"I am really impressed with Allentown," said Breene.

Rep. Schlossberg said, "It was a negative but it still made me proud to be an Allentownian because you got to see Allentown as its finest, our brave men and women rising up to protect the city."

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