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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.

Bill N. January 12, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Was he at the Slovak Club? Maybe the PPD can make hat annoying place a patrol priority.
George Hughes January 12, 2013 at 04:26 PM
That's odd . I've lived near the Slovak club since 1967 and except for the occasional loud argument out in the parking lot.I've never known there to be any trouble from that place .
harry finster January 12, 2013 at 05:23 PM
just like eastern europe
Nemo Wine January 12, 2013 at 05:54 PM
One day I found a Slovak Club member stinking drunk laying on a sidewalk, unable to get up on his own to walk home. Another time I found the same man, less drunk this time, laying on a sidewalk, unable to get up on his own to walk home, but he had slipped on a patch of mushy leaves that had accumulated. Anyone could have slipped on those leaves, but he was still drunk but less wasted than the first time.
Nemo Wine January 12, 2013 at 06:02 PM
George, Thank you for your 55 years of service to the Kimberton Fire Company.
George Hughes January 12, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Wrong George Hughes . There is two of us in the phoenixville area and we are not related .
Joan Welliver January 12, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Think about it, Lower Prospect parking lot . He was most likely at the 212 club. That club draws people from Pottstown, Norristown, Philly, and nobody can tell me they are selling drugs in there.
Joan Welliver January 12, 2013 at 08:28 PM
212 is filled with people selling drugs. And being over served.
Rxtxs323 January 12, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Jesus. He was just out having a good time. Shouldn't of drove. That's all I have to say
Joan Welliver January 12, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Having a good time slamming into parked cars drunk is having a good time ? esp. with the police chasing him. Well he can think of the good time he had while he sits in jail. And that's ALL I HAVE TO SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
harry finster January 12, 2013 at 10:52 PM
why dont you move away there are plenty of places much better than phoenixville to live,boise idahoe doesnt even make it to the crime list
Monty Burns January 13, 2013 at 02:10 AM
You know first hand it seems!

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