Man allegedly fled from police

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man is facing a felony charge in Martin County.

Daniel James Geldart, 32, is charged with fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, which carries a maximum penalty of three years and one day in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On Jan. 13, a Fairmont police officer was traveling south on Highway 15 in the area of Spruce Street in Fairmont, The officer observed a white GMC Acadia approach the highway from the east on Johnson Street and turn south. The officer observed the vehicle cross over the fog line and swerve in the lane, traveling at 62 mph.

As the vehicle and squad car approached another squad car at a traffic stop, the Acadia applied the brakes but swerved dangerously close to the parked squad car while an officer was standing at the driver’s door of the vehicle he had stopped.

The first officer activated his emergency lights to stop the Acadia, which failed to stop. The officer activated his siren and the vehicle again failed to stop, traveling at 53 mph. The vehicle continued to swerve within the lane and over the white fog line.

As they continued, the officer activated his P.A. system and told the vehicle to pull over, which the driver failed to do. The vehicle continued south on Highway 15 and then turned into a driveway in the 900 block of East Lake Aires Road. The officer exited his squad car and approached the vehicle.

The driver, later identified as Geldart, shut off and exited the vehicle. The officer asked Geldart why he did not stop right away, and Geldart responded with slurred speech that could not be understood. The officer observed Geldart’s eyes to be glassy and bloodshot, and that Geldart smelled strongly of alcohol.

Geldart was placed in handcuffs and advised of his rights. When asked again why he did not stop, Geldart said he did not see the lights or hear the siren. A preliminary breath test showed that Geldart’s alcohol concentration was over the legal limit.

Geldart was transported to the Martin County jail, where he said he wished to speak to an attorney. After the phone conversation with the attorney, Geldart refused to take a breath test.

The officer later measured the distance between where he activated his lights to when Geldart actually stopped. The officer determined he followed Geldart with lights and siren activated for about 1.3 miles before Geldart stopped in his driveway.

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