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Joe Pagan Sr.,wanted on several charges, caught after two-county chase

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Jun 11 2013 11:26:55 AM CDT
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A man wanted in connection with domestic abuse and traffic charges is in custody after a two-county chase over the weekend, police say.

Joel Pagan Sr. was arrested on Hanover Avenue in Allentown around 12:15 p.m. Saturday, about two hours after he fled first on foot and then by car when an officer tried to arrest him in Bethlehem, officials said.

Police had been looking for Pagan since May 8, when he drove a red motorcycle more than 100 miles an hour to elude them after attacking his ex-girlfriend and threatening to get a gun and kill someone, officials said.

Saturday's chase began when Pagan was spotted outside a garage near East 3rd and Hobart street, officials said.

Pagan jumped over fences and ran through several yards before getting into a gold 1999 Honda Accord and taking off with several police cars in pursuit, officials said.

Bethlehem police ended a high-speed chase at Mountain Drive North, and Lower Saucon Townhip police tried to stop Pagan at Seidersville Road at Old Bethlehem Pike, but he made it into Salisbury Township, Lehigh Co., officials said.

In the May 8 incident, Pagan grabbed his girlfriend's face with both hands from behind and forced her back into her home in the 1300 block of Eastwood Drive in Bethlehem around 10 p.m., just after she told Pagan she wanted to break up, officials said.

The ex-girlfriend told police that Pagan then said, "I'm going home to get my gun and I'm coming back and I'm gonna shoot you or kill somebody tonight," officials said.

Pagan was spotted by police on Hayes Street between East 3rd and East 4th streets a short time later, but after traveling at speeds of reaching 100 miles an hour or more and ignoring several traffic signals, Pagan escaped near the East 4th Street and Daly Avenue intersection, officials said.

A few hours later, around 2:15 a.m. May 9, Pagan began texting and calling his ex-girlfriend, warning her not to call the police again and saying he would shoot himself in the head in front of her children and try to have her children taken away from her, officials said.

Pagan, 53, of 603 Aaron St., Bethlehem, was arraigned in connection with Saturday's incident on charges of fleeing police, escape, driving with a suspended license, reckless and careless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road and driving at unsafe speeds and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $25,000 bail, according to court documents.

Pagan was arraigned in connection with the May 8 incident on charges of assault, making terroristic threats, driving with a suspended license, eluding police, reckless driving and harassment, and bail was set at $20,000, court papers show.

For the May 9 incident, Pagan was arraigned on charges of harassment and intimidation of a witness, with bail set at $25,000, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing on all the charges will be held at 9 a.m. June 18.