Fleeing a Monday night traffic stop, a Gap man led state troopers on a high-speed chase, which ended when he drove about 100 yards into a Leacock Township cornfield, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage, police said.
The driver, Michael P. Marshall, 41, was later found in the possession of suspected drugs and related paraphernalia, state police said in a criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, police first noticed Marshall's vehicle, a red Jeep Cherokee, about 11:42 p.m. Monday as it was leaving a parking lot near the Red Roof Inn in the 2300 block of Lincoln Highway East in East Lampeter Township.
There, police said they noticed that the license plate attached to the Jeep actually was registered to another vehicle. A state trooper then activated his vehicle's emergency lights and attempted to make a traffic stop, according to the complaint.
Instead, Marshall fled, driving the Jeep "at a high rate of speed," heading east on local roadways, police said.
As Marshall fled, he drove the jeep as fast as 70 mph even when he was on roads with posted maximum speed limits of 35 and 40 mph, police said.
All the time, Marshall was driving erratically, police said, noting that he drove into oncoming traffic lanes on multiple occasions while also making wild turns onto other roads.
That's in addition to blowing through a stop sign and driving the wrong way on a one-way road, according to the complaint, which notes numerous other traffic violations.
Police said Marshall's dangerous driving caused at least one other motorist to travel off of Lincoln Highway, when their vehicle, a silver sedan, was forced onto the roadway's southern shoulder.
Still pursuing, police said they chased east toward Old Philadelphia Pike and South Hollander Road in Leacock Township, where they saw Marshall throwing suspected heroin packets from the Jeep's driver-side window.
The chase eventually led to a private driveway on the 4200 block of Red Well Drive, where Marshall drove the vehicle into a nearby cornfield, traveling about 100 yards deep, police said, estimating about $100,000 worth of damage to the farming operation. The field is about 10 miles east of the Red Roof Inn where police said the chase began.
Stuck in the field, Marshall attempted to put the vehicle in reverse to again flee, but police were able to block him, according to the complaint.
Now on foot, troopers walked up to the Jeep, finding Marshall in the driver seat and a woman — later identified as Jennifer A. Simmons, 32, of Manheim — in the front passenger seat, police said.
Marshall and Simmons were uncooperative, so troopers broke out the Jeep's windows with their pistols to arrest them, according to the complaint.
According to police, Marshall then said, "I am high."
Police said drugs and related paraphernalia were found on Marshall and Simmons, as well as in the Jeep.
Marshall now faces felony charges of drug possession, fleeing police and agricultural vandalism, online court documents show. That's in addition to 64 lesser charges, most of them summary traffic violations.
As of Tuesday, online court documents showed that Marshall remained incarcerated in Lancaster County Prison unable to pay $150,000 bail. He awaits a preliminary hearing.
Simmons faces felony charges of drug possession and identity theft, as well as four lesser charges, online court documents show. She remained in Lancaster County Prison unable to post $75,000 bail.