A homeless man faces a preliminary hearing this week on more than 40 charges for allegedly leading Pennsylvania State Police on a high-speed chase through two townships in a minivan while in illegal possession of three handguns and drugs.
Ted W. Ballew, 43, is scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Amy Nicols in Titusville on Thursday for a hearing for the Feb. 4 incident in Sparta and Bloomfield townships. Ballew has been held at the Crawford County jail in Saegertown in lieu of $35,000 bond since his arrest.
Pennsylvania State Police filed a total of 43 charges against Ballew — everything from carrying firearms without a license to possession of methamphetamine to driving under the influence of a controlled substance to speeding and not wearing a seat belt.
The incident began around 4:30 p.m. Feb. 4 as troopers were checking on a man asleep inside a vehicle along Rose Valley Road in Sparta Township, according to a news release from state police.
"While speaking with a trooper at his window, Ballew put his vehicle in drive and fled at a high rate of speed," the release said.
That led to a police pursuit into Bloomfield Township that came to an end on Church Road after Ballew lost control of his van and it got stuck in snow on the side of the road, according to the release.
Ballew exited the van and ran into the nearby woods before he was arrested by two troopers after a brief foot pursuit, the release said. Troopers then found Ballew had three handguns, methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
According to the criminal complaint, the chase hit speeds of up to 95 miles an hour before Ballew crashed.
Ballew is charged by state police with three counts each of carrying a firearm without a license and illegal sale or transfer of a firearm plus two counts of carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle. Ballew had a Taurus TCP .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a Remington XP-100 .221-caliber pistol and a Ruger GP 100 .357-caliber Magnum revolver with two of those weapons loaded, the complaint said.
Ballew is charged with one count each of fleeing police, driving under the influence of a controlled substance, driving with a suspended license, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance by someone not registered to do so, possession of a small amount of marijuana and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Ballew also is charged with five counts of failing to obey traffic control signs; four counts each of failing to keep right, failing to drive at a safe speed and not using a turn signal; three counts of exceeding the 55 miles per hour speed limit by 40 mph; and one count each of exceeding the posted speed limit by 40 mph, careless driving, reckless driving and not wearing a seat belt.