CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man accused of attempting to flee and elude police and burglarizing a camp waived the charges to court at his preliminary hearing Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.
Donald Lee Chesnet, 25, of DuBois has been charged by state police at Clearfield with burglary, criminal trespass, marijuana/small amount, use/possession of drug paraphernalia, DUI/controlled substance, recklessly endangering another person, theft by unlawful taking, fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, criminal mischief and 13 summaries. His bail has been set at $100,000.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, at 1:24 a.m. Feb. 7, troopers were traveling westbound on Interstate 80 in Bradford Township. A vehicle pulled ahead of their marked unit on the on-ramp westbound off of Route 970. When a trooper ran its registration, it came back as a “dead” tag.
The troopers followed the vehicle and activated the emergency lights after crossing the bridge at Exit 120 in Lawrence Township. However, the vehicle continued west before suddenly exiting the off-ramp at Exit 120. It continued across Route 879 back onto the on-ramp at a high rate of speed.
A pursuit of the vehicle ensued at speeds of over 100 miles per hour. During the pursuit, the driver never used any turn signals and failed to stay on the right side of the roadway until turning off at Exit 111. There, the driver crashed the vehicle off the west side of the off-ramp, the affidavit stated.
The driver fled on foot west while a passenger remained at the scene. State troopers from Clearfield and DuBois and officers from Lawrence Township, DuBois City and Sandy Township searched the area for the driver. He was later located at a camp on Fire Break Road in Pine Township.
He had allegedly broken the door jamb to get inside and stolen a pair of sweatpants. He was identified as Chesnet and taken to the Clearfield Penn Highlands Hospital for a blood draw. At the scene, Chesnet told one of the troopers that he’d smoked marijuana earlier in the day.
Chesnet also told the trooper he’d stolen the sweatpants from the camp he was in. He was wearing the sweatpants when he was taken into custody.
According to the affidavit, Chesnet didn’t possess a valid driver’s license or have financial responsibility for the vehicle. He also didn’t have the registered plate that belonged on the vehicle. His passenger had a green bag containing marijuana and drug paraphernalia that Chesnet threw at her when he exited the vehicle.