Police: Drunken Driver Leads Cops on SouthSide Chase
Suspect who scored a .24 percent on his Breathalyzer test tried to elude police by driving the wrong way on several narrow South Bethlehem streets, according to court papers.
A Bethlehem man is accused of drunkenly leading city police on a high-speed car chase – often going the wrong way along the narrow, steep side streets of the SouthSide on Saturday night, according to court papers.
Michael Palladino, 46, of 701 Wood St., didn’t get away, but he tried, and for that he was charged with fleeing or eluding police, a third-class felony, in addition to DUI and a couple of summary traffic offenses.
The chase began after 8 p.m. when Bethlehem police officers driving in an unmarked car spotted a Chevy Cavalier speeding north on Alaska Street toward Broadway, the arrest warrant said. Alaska is a one-way street going south.
When the car didn’t stop to turn east on Broadway, the officers in the unmarked cruiser activated lights and sirens and pursued the Cavalier.
From there, according to the affidavit, the car:
- Turned right onto Mohican Street, then failed to stop for the stop sign at Cherokee Street and turned east.
- Turned north from Cherokee onto Seminole Street – which is a one-way southbound street.
- Turned to go east – again the wrong way – from Seminole onto Seneca Street.
- Attempted to turn north from Seneca onto Dakota Street, but stopped before hitting a car parked on the east side of the street.
Once the car was stopped, police instructed the driver to turn off the ignition and show his hands out of the driver’s side window, according to the affidavit. But police quickly found that the driver – Palladino – was not able to comply with simple verbal commands.
Once at the car, police found that Palladino smelled of alcohol, was slurring his speech and had glassy, bloodshot eyes, the affidavit said. There were also “numerous empty beer bottles” inside the car.
Police later found a cooler in the trunk with three half-empty bottles of liquor, the warrant says.
In a Breathalyzer test, Palladino registered a blood-alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the state’s legal limit to drive, which is .08, the affidavit said.
Palladino was arraigned before on-duty District Judge Roy Manwaring and committed to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $25,000 bail.