Police nab impaired man in car

A Dunscansville man is behind bars after police say he was caught driving while high in a stolen car.

Adam K. Beard, 22, was arrested just after 11 p.m. Tuesday after an Allegheny Township police officer noticed Beard was having trouble keeping the car he was driving on Plank Road between the lines, according to the charges.

Allegheny Township Police Officer Paul Nagle was parked at Alto-Reste Cemetery in his marked patrol vehicle about 11:10 p.m. Tuesday when Nagle heard what sounded like a collision. Nagle pulled out and headed south on Plank Road, saw a gold-colored Ford Focus stopped at a green light, and when the car started moving again, its passenger-side tires were over the fog line.

Police allege the car almost struck the curb as Nagle followed, and after the officer turned on his emergency lights to pull it over, the car didn’t stop and continued to head toward the curb.

The car eventually pulled into Sheetz at 1871 Plank Road, and police said Beard was behind the wheel and appeared “to be nodding off and not very coherent.”

When Nagle was asked to step out of the car and was detained, police could see a syringe sticking out of the pocket of his cargo shorts.

Beard was taken into custody after he showed signs of impairment during field sobriety tests, police said. An Altoona police officer drug recognition expert evaluated Beard and told Nagle to take him for a blood test, and when Nagle asked whose car he was driving, Beard allegedly confessed to have stolen it.

Police said Beard told officers he found the car in an alley with the keys in it and he stole it.

Beard was taken for a blood test and then booked on felony theft-related charges as well as misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Beard was also cited for several traffic violations, including driving on a suspended license and careless driving.

Magisterial District Judge Daniel DeAntonio set bail at $10,000 cash Wednesday morning, and Beard remains in Blair County Prison. His preliminary hearing is slated for May 30 before Magisterial District Judge Steve Jackson.