KANE — A Smethport man was committed to McKean County Jail Wednesday after fleeing from an officer in July.
David D. Mihalko, 40, of 3560 Route 46, was arraigned Wednesday before District Judge David Engman on a criminal charge of fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, a third-degree felony.
Mihalko additionally faces 33 summary traffic violations including disregarding traffic lane, passing when prohibited, turning movements and required signals, driving at a safe speed, driving while operating privileges suspended or revoked and following too closely.
According to the criminal complaint, about noon on July 19, a Lewis Run-based state trooper spotted someone traveling west on a sportbike on Route 59 near Airport Road while not wearing a helmet or eye protection.
The trooper, who was operating an unmarked patrol vehicle, began traveling west and was approaching the sportbike, when he observed that the sportbike was following at an unsafe distance from a truck pulling a trailer, the complaint stated.
The trooper activated his vehicle’s emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop, and the sportbike driver — later identified as Mihalko — allegedly downshifted and passed another vehicle in a no-passing zone without using a turn signal. He traveled west in the eastbound lane at speeds exceeding 104 mph, court records alleged.
According to the complaint, the trooper discontinued the pursuit due to Mihalko’s careless driving and concern that Mihalko could injure himself or someone else. The trooper turned off his emergency lights but continued traveling west, and he watched Mihalko again pass someone in a no-passing zone without his turn signal.
A trooper contacted the owner of the sportbike, who said he lent the vehicle to Mihalko and that Mihalko was the driver in the alleged incident. Investigators compared Facebook photos of Mihalko to the suspected driver, too, when confirming the driver’s identity, the complaint indicated.
Mihalko is in McKean County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, and a preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 2.