55° F

Bethlehem man runs from police after accident

Published On: Jul 07 2014 05:40:52 PM EDT
Bethlehem Police car, generic

April Maddona/69News


A 28-year-old Bethlehem man fled from city police when stopped after causing an accident on Route 378 long before dawn Saturday.

Oliver Travis Sims was caught and arrested after being chased across the Moravian College campus.

Shortly before 2:30 a.m., a city police officer responding to a report of an accident along southbound Route 378 spotted a heavily-damaged blue Chevrolet Trailblazer driving east on Elizabeth Avenue, away from Route 378.


The SUV had no headlights and severe front damage, with smoke or steam coming from the engine block.

The police officer activated his emergency lights and siren and stopped the SUV on Main Street, just off Elizabeth Avenue.

The Chevy's driver got out of the car, looked at the police cruiser and started to run through the college campus.

The police officer went after him, shouting "Police!", Don't Move!" and "Get on the ground!" But the suspect kept running.

After falling a few times, the man finally dropped to the ground with his arms spread. He was handcuffed and taken into custody.

Because Sims' forearms were bleeding from multiple cuts, the police officer called for an ambulance.  Sims began to resist and was restrained on a stretcher. 

He spit on a paramedic after threatening to do so, according to police.

As the defendant was taken to the hospital, the police officer met with the occupants of a black Mazda Protege that had been hit by the Trailblazer. The Mazda had damage to its front driver's side and front grill.

The occupants said they were driving south on Route 378 when the Trailblazer pulled up next to them and then sideswiped them. They followed the SUV, observing it hit a guardrail on Route 378's median before it exited the highway onto Elizabeth Avenue.

Police learned that Sims, who resides in the 100 block of W. Frankford Street in Bethlehem, only has a Pennsylvania learner's permit.

Terrence Roderick was a passenger in the Trailblazer, but his operator's license was suspended.

Sims was charged with simple assault for spitting on the paramedic.

Other charges included careless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol,  failing to render aid or stop at an accident scene, escape, resisting arrest and driving with a learner's permit.