A Butler man is in jail after he allegedly led authorities on a chase over the weekend that ended up injuring a state trooper and damaging his police car.
The incident started just after 2 a.m. Sunday when troopers attempted to pull over 23-year-old Nicholas Masella for allegedly failing to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of North Chestnut and New Castle streets in the city of Butler.
Police say Masella initially stopped his pickup truck on West Brady Street, but then fled the scene after he was asked to exit the vehicle because a trooper had detected a strong odor of alcohol.
“The trooper questioned Masella, and he admitted to drinking,” according to a police report.
Police were then led on a chase on Brady Street, Delwood Road, Evans Road and North Main Street Extension. During the pursuit, Masella stopped his truck on East Brady Street and four “unwilling” passengers got out, according to police.
“As the passengers were exiting the vehicle, Masella again fled with the doors open and the victims were nearly struck by his vehicle,” according to police.
Police were able to disable Masella’s truck on Evans Road. When his vehicle came to rest, he allegedly accelerated and deliberately drove into the driver’s side of a police car. He then took off- again- heading north.
Masella was found three hours later allegedly passed out behind the wheel of his truck while parked facing westbound in the right-hand lane of Route 528 in Franklin Township. He was placed under arrest.
The state trooper- identified as Trooper Casey Fuller- sustained an injury to an “upper extremity” and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. The police car sustained at least $25,000 in damage.