Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Police Officer Assaulted During Minersville Traffic Stop; Cocaine Seized

A man is facing charges after a traffic stop in Minersville led to drugs being found, and a foot chase that led to a police officer being assaulted.

According to Minersville Police Patrolman Jeffrey Bowers and Patrolman Ethan Powell, on Friday, April 1st, 2022, around 5:30pm, a traffic stop was conducted on Eric Thomas, 34, with a last known address of Philadelphia.

Ptlm. Powell had observed Thomas' Volkswagen Jetta was missing a passenger side mirror and began to follow.

As Powell followed, Thomas was unable to maintain his lane and began to gain speed up.  He was also observed reaching under the driver seat to either hide or retrieve something.  While doing this, he failed to signal and also cut off another vehicle, almost causing accident.

Once Powell activated his emergency lights, Powell pulled over on Dowdentown Road behind Miners Auto Sales.

Thomas told police he was on his way to pick up food for his family, but was unable to say where he lived.

During the stop, Thomas was asked to step out of the vehicle to verify his information, and as he climbed out of the car, a package was in view underneath the driver's side seat wrapped in cellophane wrapping.

The package was seized and found to contain 13 small resealable baggies containing crack cocaine.

At this time, Ptlm. Powell advised Thomas he was under arrest and to place his hands behind his back.  Thomas then fled on foot with Powell in pursuit.

The foot chase would cross Route 901 into Miners Plaza after Ptlm. Powell utilized his taser twice.

In the parking lot of the plaza, Thomas would fight by punching and elbowing Ptlm. Powell in the head several times until Branch Township Deputy Chief Kattner arrived to assist.

The two officers would eventually take Thomas into custody.

Minersville Police charged Thomas with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, simple assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, harassment, disorderly conduct, careless driving, and other driving offenses.

Police also learned that Thomas was out on bail after being arrested by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation on January 12th, 2022 where he is facing drug charges.

For the Minersville incident, Thomas was arraigned by on-call Magisterial District Judge Anthony Kilker and locked up in Schuylkill County Prison on $100,000 straight cash bail.

On Monday, April 4th, 2022, Thomas posted bail through a bondsman and was released.

Thomas is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Kilker on April 12th, 2022.