Man charged for leading deputy on chase in Clintonville area

A Parker man is facing charges for leading a Venango County sheriff’s deputy on a vehicle chase in the southern part of Venango County.

The sheriff’s office said in a criminal complaint that at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the deputy saw a vehicle driven by Butch Wiencek, 35, fail to stop at the intersection of Pine Hill Road and Route 208 before continuing on Route 208 toward Clintonville at a high rate of speed.

When the deputy turned on his lights and sirens in an attempt to stop Wiencek’s vehicle, Wiencek fled in the vehicle down Emlenton Street in Clintonville at speeds of 60 miles per hour in an area where the speed limit is 35, the complaint said.

The chase continued down various roads in Clintonville and the surrounding area at high speeds, and Wiencek threw items out of the vehicle, including a tire iron and center cup holder as well as other unknown items, the complaint said.

Wiencek, who drove through intersections multiple times without stopping at stop signs, turned off his vehicle’s lights to avoid detection at one point, the complaint said.

During the pursuit, Wiencek turned into a driveway at 4004 Route 208 and the deputy got out of his unmarked vehicle and told Wiencek to turn off his vehicle, the complaint said. Wiencek then drove off through the homeowner’s yard and struck a gas line, causing a gas leak, according to the complaint.

Wiencek continued on Route 208 toward Clintonville at speeds that reached 90 miles per hour, the complaint said. He drove recklessly and at a great speed down McKinley Road before turning onto Georgetown Road and striking and damaging a wooden sign at Peters Chapel United Methodist Church, the complaint said.

Wiencek then proceeded back down Georgetown and McKinley roads before turning on to Jacobs Road where he drove recklessly before he turned into a driveway and drove through a homeowner’s yard, according to the complaint. The vehicle destroyed a flower bed and strawberry garden and also struck the front of the deputy’s cruiser before returning to Jacobs Road and heading back to Clintonville via Route 308, the complaint said.

Wiencek took a right turn, crashed into a hillside and collided with another vehicle before coming to a stop near the Family Dollar in Clintonville, the complaint said.

Wiencek then exited his crashed vehicle and ran through a yard while the deputy pursued him on foot and ordered him to stop, the complaint said. The deputy then deployed his Taser, and Wiencek fell to the ground and continued to resist arrest, the complaint said.

The deputy handcuffed Wiencek and placed him in the cruiser, the complaint said. Wiencek didn’t have any identification on him, but the deputy was able to identify him due to a previous encounter with him and his vehicle, according to the complaint.

Wiencek’s vehicle registration and drivers license were suspended and he said he used methamphetamine about two hours before the chase, the complaint said.

Wiencek was charged with a felony count of fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and accident involving damage to attended vehicle/property and 10 summary traffic violations.

He was placed in the Venango County jail with bail denied because he is a flight risk and “will not comply with bail conditions.” His preliminary hearing is scheduled Wednesday in Central Court.

Franklin state police, Harrisville police and Clintonville volunteer firefighters assisted at the scene.