Pa. man in police chase: "I'll pull over when I finish my drugs"

By Dalondo Moultrie
The Morning Call

A 29-year-old Reading man who led police on an hourlong chase Monday morning through Berks and Lebanon counties told an emergency dispatcher during the chase that he would end it "when I finish all my drugs," police said.

Shane T. Babel, 29, of 327 W. Oley St., rammed a stolen car into two state police vehicles as he fled from officers from both counties, police said in an arrest affidavit. Babel was finally stopped and charged with aggravated assault, mischief, receiving stolen property, simple assault, reckless endangerment, fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence of a controlled substance and reckless driving.

According to the affidavit:

A Bern Township police officer saw Babel about 1:45 a.m. driving a car with a broken rear window on Route 183. The officer checked the license plate, determined the car was stolen, called for backup and tried to pull over Babel.

Babel began to speed away when officers signaled for him to stop. Babel drove onto Old Route 22 in the Shartlesville area, where state troopers from the Hamburg barracks unsuccessfully tried to stop him with spike strips.

Babel drove onto Route 501 and entered Lebanon County. A trooper tried to drive his car in front of Babel to end the chase, but Babel rammed the police car in Jackson Township and continued driving with more police following him.

Police placed spike strips in front of Babel on Route 422 and deflated the two front tires. An officer from the Womelsdorf Borough Police Department pulled his vehicle in front of Babel but was also rammed.

The chase ended a short time later around 2:50 a.m., and officers used a stun gun on Babel to place him under arrest. Police found a white pill and a baggie containing a white powdery substance in the car.

Sometime during the pursuit, Babel called Berks County Radio and told an operator: "The cops are chasing me. I'm a suicidal drug user." He then had several phone conversations with a county radio supervisor, at times telling her "I'll pull over when I finish all of my drugs," that he had thrown drugs out the car and that he would pull over "as soon as I finish all of my drugs. I want to finish all of my drugs."

The chase began in Bern Township and went through Bernville, Shartlesville, Rehrersburg, Bethel, Myerstown and Lebanon, police said. Officers discovered that Christopher Kostzewa reported the car stolen Sept. 18 from his job at 2201 Reading Ave., West Lawn, Berks County.

Babel was sent to Berks County Prison under $10,000 bail for an unrelated crime but is expected to be arraigned soon in Lebanon County concerning the chase.

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