Saturday, May 1, 2021

Ashland Man in Custody After Leading East Union Township Police in Motorcycle Pursuit

An Ashland man is facing charges after leading police in a high-speed pursuit on a motorcycle on Saturday afternoon.

According to East Union Township Police, the incident began around 12:30 pm, Saturday, while Police Chief Thomas Rentschler was monitoring speeds along Route 924.

Rentschler said he clocked a man, later identified as Mark Billus, 34, of Ashland, on a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle traveling north at 71 mph in a 35 mph zone.

A pursuit ensued when Rentschler attempted to pull over Billus for a speed violation.

Billus continued north on Route 924 at speeds estimated over 100 mph passing numerous vehicles, including into oncoming traffic.

Once Billus entered Sheppton, Rentschler discontinued the pursuit and lost sight of the suspect.

While searching the area, Rentschler was notified of someone matching the description of Billus on a motorcycle in a housing development on Mountain Drive.

Chief Rentschler requested additional help from Mahanoy City and West Mahanoy Township Police to assist in the search.

The search led to a gated path in the back of the development, approximately 500 yards in the woods, where police found Billus working on his motorcycle.

When police approached and ordered him to stop, Billus put his helmet back on and attempted to flee again until Rentschler tackled and took him into custody, and impounded the motorcycle.

When questioned, Billus said he fled because he "didn't have a motorcycle license and panicked".

Billus was charged with 3rd-degree felony fleeing or attempting to elude police, exceeding maximum speed limits, careless driving, reckless driving, and trespassing by motor vehicle.

He was arraigned before on-call Magisterial District Judge Anthony Kilker who set bail at $15,000 straight cash and committed to Schuylkill County Prison.

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