Puerto Rico man enters plea for car theft, crash

·2 min read

Jan. 5—EBENSBURG-A man from Puerto Rico entered a guilty plea in Cambria County Court Tuesday on charges related to crashing a stolen vehicle near Nanty Glo in December 2020 after leading police on a high speed chase, and then stole a second vehicle and was finally caught after that vehicle crashed near Portage, according to authorities at the time

Cristian Joel Rodriguez-Pacheco, 28, of Salinas, Puerto Rico, entered a guilty plea to two counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude officers before Judge Patrick T. Kiniry Tuesday in the incident.

At the time of the incident, Cambria Township police had attempted to stop a red Mazda CX3 on Admiral Peary Highway just after midnight when the vehicle sped away at 100 mph on Route 22 west according to a criminal complaint,

Jackson Township police then joined the chase when the Mazda crashed into a guide rail at the Nanty Glo exit. The complaint said that the driver got out and ran into a wooded area, where police were unable to find him. According to the complaint, a registration check showed the vehicle was stolen in a carjacking in Wilkinsburg.

Later that day, police were called to a disturbance at the Big Stone Inn, where Rodriguez-Pacheco entered the business "bloody" and said he needed an ambulance.

The woman who called 911 said Rodriguez-Pacheco allegedly grabbed her keys and drove off with a silver Hyundai, the complaint said.

According to the criminal complaint, police units chased the Hyundai on Route 22 east and then onto U.S. Route 219 south in the northbound lane. The chase continued into Croyle Township, where the vehicle traveled off of the Portage exit, crossed a grass median and crashed into a ditch, where he was taken into custody.

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