Rural Tyrone man charged with aggravated assault after police chase

A rural Tyrone man has been charged with aggravated assault after an incident shortly after midnight on Thursday.
Tyrone Borough Police said patrolman Billy Mayes was on patrol in a marked vehicle on Adams Avenue near Decker Hollow Road. At the same time, a vehicle driven by 28-year-old David John Sprankle, Sr. of RD 4, Box 201D, Tyrone drove through the stop sign at Decker Hollow Road at a high rate of speed without stopping.
The Sprankle vehicle crossed Adams Avenue almost striking officer Mayes’ vehicle onto the Gardner’s Candies property. The officer turned on his emergency lights and siren.
Sprankle then fled north on Adams Avenue with officer Mayes in pursuit and another Tyrone Police unit arrived on the scene to assist.
According to a press release from borough police, at one point, Sprankle stopped the vehicle and backed up, ramming officer Mayes’ vehicle, causing damage to the front end then continued north on Adams Avenue.
Sprankle lost control of his vehicle and spun out on the roadway near the Albemarle Chemical Plant. A passenger jumped from the vehicle and was apprehended by Patrolman Gil Barton. The passenger threw a bottle of whiskey into the woods, as he ran.
Mayes continued to pursue the Sprankle vehicle and the driver again lost control of his vehicle and spun out on Adams Avenue. Sprankle then fled south on Adams Avenue with Mayes following him onto Gypsy Camp Hollow Road. Sprankle continued at a high rate of speed and almost lost control again.
The officer deactivated his emergency lights and siren and terminated the pursuit due to the high speeds and Sprankle’s dangerous driving.
Mayes went to assist officer Barton with dealing with the passenger in the vehicle who was identified as Dallas Leidig.
Leidig informed police the driver of the vehicle was Sprankle. Officer Mayes then drove back to Gypsy Camp Hollow Road and found Sprankle’s vehicle overturned.
A search for Sprankle ensued with assistance from Bellwood Borough and the Pennsylvania State Police.
Shortly thereafter, a 911 dispatch stated that a nearby resident was reporting a man knocking on the door and wanting in the house. Officers responded there but could not locate the man.
A few minutes later, another dispatch was received that a man had been found hiding in the basement of another residence. Officers responded and found Sprankle being held at gunpoint by a woman who lived in the house.
Sprankle was positively identified by Mayes as the driver involved in the chase and was taken into custody.
This morning, Tyrone Police Chief Joseph Beachem told The Daily Herald the ramming of a police vehicle is fairly rare for the department to deal with during a traffic stop or DUI incident.
“I think this illustrates the dangers of drunken driving,” said Beachem.
The chase and eventual capture of the suspect took place in both Tyrone Borough and Snyder Township.
Sprankle was charged with criminal attempt, aggravated assault by a motor vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault, simple assault, criminal trespass, recklessly endangering another person, DUI with a blood alcohol content of .203 percent, reckless driving, careless driving, accident involving damage to an attended vehicle or property, accidents involving damage to unattended property, driving on the right side of the road, duties at a stop sign, restrictions of alcoholic beverages, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, disorderly conduct, drivers required to be licensed and driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked.
Sprankle was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Pat Jones in Duncansville. His bail was set at $10,000, 10 percent. He was committed to the Blair County Prison in lieu of bail.
Leidig was charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkeness. Chief Beachem said charges against Leidig will be filed.