City man accused of fleeing in van from police officers

An Altoona man is in jail after he allegedly fled police along Plank Road, accelerating away in a van while officers tried to pull him from the driver’s seat.

Gerald R. Replogle, 74, of Altoona faces charges including felony aggravated assault for a Monday night incident that began in the Chik-Fil-A parking lot at Sierra Drive. Nearby witnesses had called police to report a suspicious driver — apparently Replogle — in a white van near the restaurant.

When police arrived, an officer confronted Replogle through his van window. Replogle said he planned to leave; when the officer said he couldn’t, Replogle allegedly hit the gas and fled north on Plank Road.

The officer soon stopped Replogle, who “was irate and would not step from his vehicle,” according to a police affidavit.

When the officer opened Replogle’s door to remove him, he allegedly swung at the officer. The officer, assisted by a colleague, then tried to cut Replogle’s seat belt and pull him out.

“With the driver’s side door open and officers having a hold of the driver, the driver threw the vehicle into drive and fled north on Plank Road,” the officer wrote.

Police followed Replogle in a chase that led to his home near 25th Street. Replogle left the van and tried to walk to his house, ignoring officers’ commands until they took him into custody.

Replogle faces charges including aggravated assault, simple assault and resisting arrest. He was committed to Blair County Prison after arraignment Tuesday morning and faces a preliminary hearing Sept. 21 before Magisterial District Judge Steven D. Jackson.

He remains in jail in lieu of $15,000, according to court records.