Local Man Arrested Following High-Speed Pursuit Through Venango County

Aly Delp

Aly Delp

Published February 3, 2022 5:35 am

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) — An Oil City man is behind bars following a pursuit that ranged from Oil City to Oakland Township early Tuesday morning.

Court documents indicate the Franklin-based State Police filed criminal charges against 52-year-old Sean Christopher Johnson.

According to a criminal complaint, around 11:33 a.m. on February 1, Franklin-based State Police observed a black MC Sierra truck traveling south on Cooper Avenue near the intersection with Clarion Street in Oil City with an expired inspection sticker. Police then attempted to catch up to the vehicle to initiate a traffic stop.

The complaint indicates police saw the vehicle slide into the intersection of Cooper Avenue and Spruce Street, almost not making a turn due to its high rate of speed. Police then activated their emergency lights and siren to attempt to stop the vehicle.

According to the complaint, as police got behind the vehicle and performed a search of the registration, they found the registration was returning as a temp tag from an auto sale business in Seneca.

The vehicle turned right on Duncomb Street at a high rate of speed and attempted to flee the traffic stop, eventually reaching speeds of over 60 miles per hour on Seneca Street. The vehicle reportedly continued into Cornplanter Township onto Union Street, fishtailing due to the ice-covered roadway, according to the complaint.

The complaint states that the vehicle then made a right turn onto State Route 428 and continued at speeds of over 70 miles per hour. It subsequently made a right turn onto State Route 417 and then an immediate left onto Wallaceville Gresham Road. The pursuit continued with the vehicle turning right onto Pump Station Road, then right onto Gresham Road.

The pursuit finally ended on Gresham Road at the intersection with State Route 417 in Oakland Township when the vehicle entered a private drive and became stuck in a snow bank, according to the complaint.

The pursuit was approximately 15 miles in length with the vehicle committing “multiple egregious traffic violations” including recklessly endangering the pursuing troopers. It also reportedly left its lane of travel multiple times during the course of the pursuit, the complaint notes.

Following the end of the pursuit, the driver of the vehicle was identified as Sean Christopher Johnson, and he was found to have multiple warrants as well as a license that was DUI suspended.

He was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Andrew F. Fish at 2:35 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1, on the following charges:

– Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Officer, Felony 3
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2
– Driving License Suspended/Revoked Pursuant to Section 3802/1547B1-2nd Violation, Summary
– Reckless Driving, Summary
– Careless Driving, Summary
– Disregard Traffic Lane (Single), Summary
– Driving at Safe Speed, Summary
– Operate Vehicle Without Valid Inspection, Summary
– Display Plate Card In Improper Vehicle, Summary
– Operate Vehicle Without Required Financial Responsibility, Summary
– Obedience to Traffic-Control Devices, Summary

He was lodged in the Venango County Jail with bail denied due to being a threat risk, according to the court document.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on February 9, with Judge Fish presiding.

Court documents indicate Johnson has a criminal history dating back to 2009 with convictions that include drug possession and DUI.

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