SOUTH PYMATUNING — A Jamestown police officer found himself under arrest when he tried fleeing from police following a car accident Sunday night.
South Pymatuning police officer Timothy Covert was sitting in his police cruiser with the windows down at 11:58 p.m. Sunday at the police station on Tamarack Drive, when he heard a loud noise, according to the criminal complaint.
Covert turned left onto Tamarack Drive and saw a Chevy Equinox’s taillights about 100 feet away in a residential driveway. The rear end of the passenger’s side of the Chevy had been heavily damaged and all the airbags had deployed, while Alex Rivera Molina, 24, of 2724 Hunter St., Sharpsville, was seen walking north on Tamarack Drive.
Molina declined medical attention, but Covert noticed Molina was allegedly staggering, had slurred speech and had a strong odor of alcoholic beverages, according to the complaint.
Covert reported that he asked Molina four times for identification before Molina finally pulled out a junior license, at which point Molina allegedly started talking loudly and saying, “Yo, I’m an officer, too.” Covert said he tried to calm Molina by saying, “The public doesn’t need to know you’re a police officer and you shouldn’t be seen like this.”
Molina responded by saying, “You’re right. I shouldn’t be seen,” then ran toward the South Pymatuning police cruiser, managing to get inside the driver’s seat and almost closing the door before Covert stopped him, according to the complaint. Noticing Molina had his right hand on the gear lever, Covert immediately pulled Molina out of the car, then arrested him and put Molina in the back seat.
The Chevy was disabled in the accident and had to be towed from the scene. Sharpsville police also responded and stayed at the scene while the vehicle was towed, the complaint states.
Molina allegedly agreed to a blood test at the scene, but became uncooperative after arriving at UPMC Horizon in Farrell and refused the test. While at UPMC, Molina made accusations at Covert a few times, referring to him as “Joe” and “Justin,” according to the complaint.
After declining to sign a consent card for a blood test, Covert asked Molina if he was refusing the test, which Molina answered with, “Take me to Farrell lock up,” according to the complaint. Molina was then taken to the Farrell Police Department where he was held until his arraignment, according to a press release from the South Pymatuning Police Department.
Jameson police Chief Ed Carter said he had heard of the incident, but added that he had not been officially notified as of Monday afternoon. Molina had served as a part-time police officer with the department for about 13 months, during which Carter said Molina worked intermittently because he worked other jobs.
Carter said he could not comment on personnel matters, but added that the incident would be discussed with borough officials including the mayor and the borough council.
“We’ll take appropriate action when needed,” Carter said.
Molina was charged with driving under the influence, theft by unlawful taking, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and attempting to flee or elude an officer. His preliminary arraignment was held at 11:22 a.m. Monday, and he will appear in court again for his preliminary hearing at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 11 before Magisterial District Judge Brian Arthur, according to court documents.
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