A Lancaster man led police on a high-speed chase with multiple children in the car, placing all of them in danger, according to East Lampeter Township police.
George Darrow Lewis Jr., 38, was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, four counts of endangering the welfare of children and nine summary traffic violations.
Officers first spotted Lewis swerving while following another vehicle so close that the car’s rear lights couldn’t be seen as he was headed west along the 1800 block of Lincoln Highway East (Route 30) at 8:32 p.m. on Saturday, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Police attempted to pull over Lewis in the 1200 block of East King Street in Lancaster Township after he started picking up speed and weaving from lane to lane to pass other vehicles, but he suddenly pulled away and did a u-turn before stopping again, police said. Lewis then exited his vehicle and approached police, who ordered him back to his car where he sped away down Lincoln Highway East.
Lewis ignored officers’ attempts to pull him over, fleeing from them while reaching speeds of around 100 mph in a 35 mph zone, according to the affidavit. Lewis ran three red lights during the chase, also nearly causing two crashes and driving through oncoming traffic, all between the 1500 and 2000 blocks of Lincoln Highway.
Lewis then turned into the parking lot of a Walmart at 2034 Lincoln Highway East where he continued to drive recklessly before coming to a stop at the front of the store, fleeing the scene on foot. Officers found four children inside Lewis’ vehicle: his 12-year-old daughter and three other children, ages 10, 2 and 2.
None of the children were injured during the chase, though officers found them hysterical. Neither of the 2-year-olds were secured in a child seat.
Lewis was arrested in the parking lot shortly afterwards, telling police he fled because his license was suspended for a previous DUI.
Lewis was confined to Lancaster County Prison on Sunday after he was unable to post a $30,000 bail, court records show. He will face a preliminary hearing before Judge Denise Commins on Sept. 24.