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Johnstown High Speed Chase Update

Were learning more about Yesterday’s high-speed chase across Cambria County.

Authorities say the hours-long chase ended with a crash and a man in custody.

Police tell our McKenzie Jarrell they were familiar with the suspect identified as 24-year-old Stephen Perla of Beaverdale prior to this incident.

“It actually originated in Beaverdale.”

Bonfanti says Perla stole a White Chevy he says the owner of the vehicle left the keys in the car when making a quick stop at a Beaverdale convenience store Monday Afternoon

“Next thing he knows, his brothers calling him to say who has your vehicle. His brother passed the stolen vehicle as it was being stolen, he didn’t even know it was stolen.”

And this is when the high-speed chase began involving multiple police departments around Cambria County

“At times between fifty and eighty miles per hour at times.”

Bonfanti says the chase proceeded passed Forest Hills up and around Frankstown Road into the City of Johnstown where Perla went down Main Street in the wrong direction

“The officers during the chase said they was amazed that there was hardly anybody on main street at that time. It was just one of those things that, by chance.”

From there he says Perla hopped back on 56 before heading toward Ligonier and this is where the chase ended

“There’s a bridge construction zone down in Ligonier, before Ligonier and he veered off the road and he lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree.”

Bonfanti says Perla totaled the Chevy and when authorities caught up with him he was tazed and bit by K9 BAS before ems took him to Conemaugh Hosptial

“In fact, he was tasered and also canine, he had a canine bite. EMS came, took him to Conemaugh hospital. They checked him over, he was cleared to be released and once he was released, he was transported here, charges were filed.”

Bonfanti says perla was arraigned Tuesday Morning on multiple counts of reckless endangerment theft and fleeing police charges

Perla is currently being held in the Cambria County Prison on 30-thousand dollars bail.


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