A Coalport teen accused of leading police on a high speed chase and having an illegal sawed off shotgun waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge James Glass yesterday at Centralized Court held at the Clearfield County Jail.
James Christopher Potts, 18, of Coalport is charged with firearms not to be carried without a license, and prohibited offensive weapons, both of which are misdemeanors of the first degree, fleeing and eluding police, a felony of the third degree; and multiple summary traffic violations.
Potts, who did not have an attorney and was representing himself, asked that his bail be lowered from $50,000 monetary so his mother could post bail. He said this is the first time he got in trouble as an adult and wants to get out of jail so he can finish school and get a job.
Potts apologized for what happened, stating he had fallen in with the wrong crowd and was high on drugs and didn’t know what he was doing.
Assistant District Attorney Warren Mikesell said he opposed any reduction in bail, arguing that Potts had a loaded illegal sawed off shotgun and led police on a dangerous high speed chase and is a danger to society.
Additionally, Mikesell said, Potts has a pending simple assault case against him and the State Police are allegedly still investigating Potts.
Glass kept bail at $50,000 monetary.
“There’s just too much going on,” Glass said. “I think the best place for you is in jail,” Glass said. “And I think it’s best for the community that you stay in jail.”
Potts is charged in a seperate case with terroristic threats, a misdemeanor of the second degree; simple assault, a misdemeanor of the third degree; and summary harassment. He waived those charges into court last week. Bail is set in that case at $50,000 monetary.
According to the affidavits of probable cause, in the early morning hours of Sept. 25, Clearfield-based State Police responded to a residence at the 200-block of Hemlock Road in Irvona for an assault.
According to Troopers, Potts struck the victim in the right ear area with the barrel of a shotgun, causing injury. Potts then fled the scene.
Later that day at 12:08 p.m., Troopers spotted Potts driving a Chevrolet Malibu on Main Street in Coalport.
The trooper stopped his vehicle at the intersection of Mill and Main streets and waited for Potts to pass. Potts approached at a high rate of speed and when he saw the trooper, he turned abruptly into the parking lot of the Methodist church.
The vehicle traveled across the parking lot, through a lawn, went over a curb and onto Mill Street.
Troopers pursued Potts down Mill Street, which becomes Union Street. This is a residential area and Potts was traveling in excess of 70 mph.
Potts then turned left onto Market Street and traveled on Market Street for approximately four miles, passing another vehicle on a left curve in the roadway, and exceeded speeds of 80 mph on Market Street.
Potts failed to negotiate the T intersection with St. Lawrence Road and overturned into a ditch along the road in Beccaria Township and was taken into custody.
The license plate on the vehicle was not assigned to the vehicle, and Potts never had a valid driver’s license.