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Police: Crack Deal Gone Awry Leads to Foot Chase Through Borough

Police say the man was ultimately tasered and apprehended.

A Phoenixville man faces multiple charges after police say he evaded arrest on foot after a crack cocaine deal in the borough last week.

Mark Johnson Jr., 23, was charged with escape, resisting arrest, intent to deliver drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief, possession of a controlled substance, and manufacture, delivery, or possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute after the alleged November 9 incident.

According to court documents, on Friday at approximately 3:16 a.m. a Phoenixville police officer witnessed Johnson and another man cross paths at the intersection of High Street and Queen Street—an area known for drug sales. When the men saw the police car they separated and quickly set out in opposite directions.

The officer called Johnson over to his car. Johnson obliged, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he approached.

The officer patted Johnson down for weapons and felt a plastic bag tied in a knot in the pocket of his basketball shorts. The officer wrote in the affidavit that he knew immediately that it was drugs.

The officer told Johnson he was under arrest and ordered that he put his hands behind his back, but the suspect had other plans. He took off on foot and led the officer on a chase that ended on Vanderslice Street and Kurtz Lane. The officer tasered Johnson, then held him to the ground while he waited for backup.

When backup arrived, Johnson was searched for the drugs, but his pockets were empty. A quick search of the chase route was similarly unfruitful.

After Johnson was released, however, an officer found a sandwich bag containing six smaller baggies of what a subsequent lab test confirmed as crack cocaine in a leaf pile near where Johnson was apprehended.

Johnson was arraigned on November 12 and confined to and ultimately released from Chester County Prison on $10,000 bail. He faces preliminary hearing on November 15.

Michael Hill November 14, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I applaud the officer for their diligence. I hope it holds up in court.
Rxtxs323 November 15, 2012 at 05:34 PM
That won't hold up in court and I hope it doesn't. There wasn't anything on him when they finially caught him. That bag they found after he was already in jail. Im sure hours later could of be dropped at anytime. And the only thing they could get him with in evading arrest. Be deal. Probably get that dropped to. He was nervous because of the reputation of cops and how they will definitely get a conviction by any means nessesary. Take that as u will. He just needs a good lawyer.
Rxtxs323 November 15, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Big deal *
Phx08 November 16, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I don't understand how the police officer "knew it was drugs" without ever reaching in his pocket and seeing it for himself. That just seems like speculation. Also, I agree with Rxtxs323 that this won't hold up in court. They have no way to tell that it was his.. In my opinion, this was poor police work..
marcthepig November 19, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Did the suspect have a chance to say "Don't tase me bro" before getting tased?

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