Bradford man jailed after fleeing police

A Bradford man is in McKean County Jail after fleeing from a police officer on an all-terrain vehicle Saturday night.

James M. Fries III, 28, was arraigned overnight between Saturday and Sunday before District Judge Richard Luther on charges of fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, a third-degree felony; DUI-general impairment, a misdemeanor; and the following summaries: reckless driving, careless driving, operation on streets/highways and driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked.

According to the criminal complaint, at 9:33 p.m. a Bradford City police officer saw an ATV come down John Street and turn right onto Jackson Avenue, heading in the same direction as the officer. The ATV made a left turne onto Rosedale Avenue toward Williams Street.

The officer got behind the ATV on Rosedale and activated his emergency lights to make a traffic stop. The ATV operator — Fries — turned around, looked at the officer and turned left onto Williams Street without stopping at the stop sign, the complaint stated.

As he followed Fries, the officer activated the patrol car siren and contacted McKean County dispatch to report that he was in pursuit of an ATV.

Fries turned into the Control Chief parking lot, drove onto the railroad tracks, then got on Mill Street heading toward East Main Street, according to court records. While following Fries on Mill Street, the officer turned off the siren and lights and began to end the pursuit for the safety of Fries and the general public.

The officer watched Fries turn off the ATV lights and make a right turn onto East Main Street. The officer continued to follow Fries without actively trying to stop him. The ATV turned left onto Lincoln Avenue and entered the woods at the top of that street, the complaint stated.

The officer continued to the top of Lincoln Avenue and located the ATV, which was stuck on a large log just off the side of the road and still running. According to the complaint, the officer began to look for Fries on foot and found him lying on his stomach in the woods trying to hide.

Court records indicated that Fries smelled like alcohol, and his poor performance during field sobriety tests led the officer to take him to Bradford Regional Medical Center for a blood test.

Fries is in McKean County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail, and a preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday.


Sunbury man facing firearm, drug charges

A Sunbury man is facing firearm- and drug-related charges after a traffic stop Sunday afternoon in Keating Township.

Michael R. Kozak III, 22, was arraigned Sunday evening before District Judge Richard Luther on charges of firearms not to be carried without a license, a third-degree felony; DUI-controlled substance, possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use and three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanors; and summary charges of driving an unregistered vehicle, failure to notify change in address and operating vehicle without valid inspection.

The criminal complaint states that at 1:28 p.m. Sunday, a Lewis Run-based state trooper was traveling west on Route 59 in Keating Township, when she spotted a car — driven by Kozak — with an expired registration.

The trooper activated the patrol car’s emergency lights and siren, pulling over the car driven by Kozak. While speaking with Kozak, she noticed the car’s inspection expired in September, and she asked him if there was anything in the car she needed to know about, the complaint stated.

According to the complaint, Kozak— who did not have a concealed carry permit — said he had a gun in the center console. At that admission, the trooper called for additional officers.

The front seat passenger told another trooper that there was marijuana under her seat, and Kozak told the trooper that he smoked marijuana earlier that day, according to court records.

The complaint alleged that during a search of the car, the first trooper found a Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm handgun, a loaded eight-round magazine, a glass pipe, a green grinder containing marijuana and a black container with marijuana residue.

Court records stated that Kozak showed signs of impairment when tested.

Kozak was released on $25,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 2.

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