Man Pleads Guilty to Leading Police on Drunken Chase Through Borough
William Shawnell Jr., 29, hit ten parked cars before being tased.
The Pottstown man who led Phoenixville Police on a wild, drunken car chase through the borough over the summer before being tased into submission plead guilty to all charges on Tuesday, The Phoenix is reporting.
According to the paper, William Shawnell Jr., 29, will spend 11 ½ to 23 months in prison, after accepting the plea agreement his attorney worked out with the assistant DA.
In the early morning hours of June 10, Shawell Jr, was seen by a Phoenixville Police officer pulling out of the Prospect Street lower parking lot with the headlights on his 1998 Pontiac Grand Am out. The officer said Shawell almost immediately drove into a telephone poll on Prospect before backing up, blowing a stop sign as he turned left onto Gay Street, and speeding along southbound in its northbound lane.
At this point, benefit of the doubt exhausted, the officer turned on her siren and tried to pull the driver over near the corner of Gay and Walnut. Shawell responded by smashing into a car parked on Gay and Morgan Street, backing up with the apparent intention of making a left onto Morgan—the wrong way, again, on a one-way street—only to jump the curb and hit another parked car. Shawell then backed up again and headed east down Morgan Street, hitting multiple parked cars along the way.
Officer still on his tail, Shawell eventually made his way to Washington Avenue, where he smashed into another parked car, swerved onto the sidewalk, and almost crashed into a house. He then backed up, doubled back onto Washington Avenue, and hit the same car a second time.
At this point, Shawell, still, incredibly, going, backed into the police car that was trailing him, then gunned it into three more vehicles.
With the Pottstown-native finally slowed—if only because he was pinned against so many cars—an officer from the Schuylkill Police Department, called in to assist, broke the passenger side window of the car and tased Shawell while a Phoenixville officer grabbed the keys from the ignition. The driver was then pulled from the car, despite determined resistance, and handcuffed by the two officers.
Officers noted Shawell had glassy eyes, slurred speech, was unsteady on his feet, and smelled strongly of alcohol. He was taken to Phoenixville Hospital to have his injuries treated and blood drawn for testing.