High-Speed Pursuit

NORTH HARMONY – An Erie, Pa., man who led New York State Police on a pursuit with speeds reaching nearly 100 mph in North Harmony was not injured Tuesday when he flipped his SUV.

State police charged Willie Brown, 31, with third-degree fleeing an officer in a vehicle, unlawful possession of marijuana, reckless driving and multiple speed in zone infractions.

Around 1:30 p.m. Trooper Steve Chriest, while stationed eastbound on Interstate 86 in North Harmony, observed a black Chevy Tahoe operated by Brown traveling at 84 mph. According to a police report, Chriest attempted to initiate a traffic stop, at which time Brown exited the interstate and headed eastbound on Route 394.

At one point in the pursuit, speeds reached 97 mph, police said.

Brown lost control of the SUV after turning onto North Maple Avenue in front of BOCES and veered off the road. The Tahoe then rolled onto its side, heavily damaging the vehicle.

Brown was not injured in the accident, police said. He was taken into custody and transported to police barracks in Jamestown. He also was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to comply with a lawful order, improper passing and passing on the right.

The Erie resident is scheduled to be arraigned in North Harmony Court at a later date. Police were assisted by members of the Ashville Fire Department.

“Thankfully at that time of the day, there wasn’t a lot of traffic there,” said state police Sgt. Scott Thayer.