An Altoona man who allegedly led police on a two-mile chase before leaving his pregnant girlfriend on the side of the road is in custody.
Michael Vincent Beck, 22, of 813 Fifth Ave. was arrested Saturday at DelGrosso's Amusement Park in Tipton after Altoona police tracked him down to face a laundry list of charges, including felony aggravated assault of an unborn child, stemming from an alleged chase Friday morning through Altoona, police said
It was 8:37 a.m. when two Altoona officers pulled Beck over in his girlfriend's silver-colored Chevrolet Tracker on Margaret Avenue.
Police said Beck allegedly made an illegal right-hand turn on red at Seventh Avenue and 17th Street.
Beck gave police a fake name and birth date, police said, and roused suspicion when he hesitated while giving officers the information, according to his arrest papers.
When Blair County 911 informed police the name was bogus, Beck was ordered out of the car. Police said Beck, who had his doors locked, ignored both officers and stared straight ahead until Patrolman Julie Cruse reached inside his window and unlocked the door. Police said it was then that Beck put the SUV in gear and sped away from the officers, turning onto 20th Street before turning right onto Beale Avenue - headed against traffic on the one-way street.
Police allege Beck drove the wrong way on Beale Avenue for about a mile, passing several oncoming vehicles, before turning the SUV onto the right lanes of Logan Boulevard. Cruse noted in Beck's charges that Beck lost control of the SUV at the Sixth Avenue intersection, hit the curb and swerved erratically with the Tracker on only two wheels until Beck gained control and headed west on Sixth Avenue.
At the intersection of Burgoon Road, the officers called off the pursuit because of safety, police said. Police said the officers watched Beck run a red light as they cut off the pursuit, and an off-duty city officer at the 58th Street intersection saw Beck nearly hit a vehicle as the suspect drove past.
Because Beck's girlfriend had provided officers at the traffic stop with her valid driver's license, police were able to learn Beck's true name and address from the woman's mother. Police found the girlfriend at Beck's home.
During an interview with police at the Altoona Police Department, the woman allegedly said Beck had told her he was "in a little trouble" as police were pulling him over, and once he started to flee, he ignored her pleas for him to stop. She allegedly told police that Beck, whom she had just reconciled with and whose baby she is carrying, almost wrecked several times and she was frightened he would crash the SUV.
When Beck slowed after hitting a guardrail, she jumped from the SUV, police said. Beck drove on with her Tracker, police said, and she walked to a convenience store and called someone for a ride.
Police noted Beck has a suspended license, and the Tracker's registration was invalid because of no insurance. Beck is charged with felony aggravated assault, aggravated assault of an unborn child, escape and theft as well as misdemeanor counts of unlawful restraint, fleeing police, unauthorized use of an automobile, false identification to law enforcement, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct. Police have also charged Beck with seven traffic violations, including reckless driving and driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Beck was arraigned Saturday before Magisterial District Paula Aigner and lodged in Blair County Prison in lieu of $75,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing on the charges is slated for Wednesday in Central Court.