HOLLIDAYSBURG - An Altoona man who plotted to take a baseball bat to a romantic rival remains in a Pittsburgh hospital after he crashed the getaway car early Saturday, Hollidaysburg Borough police said.
Christopher Lee Nicholas, 22, of 828 18th Ave. and three others drove to a home on the 200 block of Broad Street at about 3 a.m. Saturday to assault a man with a baseball bat because Nicholas believed the man was involved with his girlfriend, according to police.
Pamela S. Luke, 23, of 129 Beiswenger Lane, Ashville, drove Nicholas and two others - Nicholas B. Clemens, 21, of 208 14th St. and Bronson L. Brown, 28, of 1941 W. Chestnut Ave. Apt. 3 - to the Broad Street home and waited in her Pontiac Sunfire while the three men walked onto the porch, police said.
Nicholas was armed with a baseball bat, and the rival, who heard the three men outside his home, confronted them at the door and told them to get off his property, police said.
Nicholas pushed his way through the door, followed by Brown and Clemens, but their alleged target took the bat from Nicholas and pushed the three out the door, police said. The three then fled in the Sunfire, with Nicholas behind the wheel, but police were not far behind, according to court records.
When responding Hollidaysburg Borough police said they tried to get the Sunfire to pull over, Nicholas ignored police and fled the borough at a high rate of speed on Route 22.
Luke, Clemens and Brown bailed out of the car near Geeseytown, police said, and after turning onto Campbell Hill Road, the pursuing officer broke off the chase.
"He was so out of control, my officer backed off and turned off his emergency lights and siren," Hollidaysburg Police Chief Jeffrey Ketner said. "A few miles down the road, he came upon the car; it was flipped over."
Nicholas was flown to UPMC Pittsburgh, where according to a hospital spokesman he was listed in good condition Wednesday. Nicholas faces charges stemming from the incident, Ketner said.
Luke, Clemens and Bronson were arrested by pursuing officers after getting out of the Sunfire. Clemens tried to run from police after he initially surrendered and then gave a false name after he was found in a nearby woods, police said.
Luke, Clemens and Bronson were arraigned Saturday afternoon by Magisterial District Judge Steven D. Jackson on conspiracy, burglary, criminal trespass, defiant trespass and simple assault charges.
Clemens was also charged with escape and false identification to law enforcement and lodged in Blair County Prison in lieu of $20,000 cash bail.
Luke and Bronson were each released on $10,000 unsecured bail with preliminary hearings slated for Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner.
Photos of Luke and Bronson were unavailable because they were released on unsecured bail.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.