State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Man Fled After DUI Stop, Police Say

by on March 02, 2017 3:07 PM

State College Police say a New York man ran away after being told he was under arrest for DUI, then tried to hail passing cars for a ride.

According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, at about 11:35 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2016, a State College Police officer was stopped behind a black Honda at a red light on West Beaver Avenue at South Atherton Street. The officer said he watched the driver of the Honda then make an illegal left hand turn from the right lane onto South Atherton Street, so he initiated his emergency lights and the driver of the Honda turned onto West College Avenue and into the Minit Mart parking lot.

The officer said he detected the odor of marijuana coming from the car and observed that the driver, identified as Derrick Grate Jr., 26, of New York City, had glassy eyes and made slow and deliberate movements.

Grate reportedly denied consuming alcohol or smoking marijuana. Two other State College Police officers arrived and also said they could smell marijuana when they were near the open window of the car.

Police said Grate consented to standardized field sobriety tests and did not perform satisfactorily. He then reportedly agreed to an Advanced Roadside Impairment Detection Enforcement test and again did not perform satisfactorily.

An officer informed Grate he was under arrest for DUI and began to request that he consent to a drug recognition expert exam while another officer moved behind Grate to place handcuffs on him. Police said that Grate started to position himself to run and look for an escape route, so an officer grabbed his wrist and Grate tried to pull away.

Police struggled to control him, and eventually Grate slipped out of the officer's grip, according to the complaint. Grate then ran north in the middle of North Atherton Street, ignoring orders to stop, police said.

While officers pursued, Grate allegedly tried multiple times to wave down passing cars to give him a ride. Police said they also saw him try to make phone calls during the chase. After about a half mile, Grate was taken into custody near Curtin Road by a Penn State Police officer who had been dispatched to the scene.

Grate allegedly admitted to police there was a small amount of marijuana in his car, and officers reportedly recovered baggies of marijuana totaling 12.4 grams in several locations in the vehicle.

He was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for a blood draw, from which lab results later showed marijuana in his system, police said. 

Grate was charged with misdemeanor counts of escape, driving under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was arraigned via summons on Thursday by District Judge Steven Lachman.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 29.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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