The Brookfield man down Route 33 on Good Friday waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday in front of District Judge Douglas Schlegel of Wind Gap.
Justin R. Savaglio, 27, of Brookfield, had a blood-alcohol content of .10, according to his lawyer, Gail Marr.
The legal limit for motorists in Pennsylvania is .08 percent.
Eight charges were waived to Northampton County Court, including fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, DUI, driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, driving on roadways laned for traffic, driving on divided highways, maximum speed limits, careless driving and reckless driving.
The charge of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer is a felony. Trooper Adam Frankelli said he spoke with the district attorney's office, and all parties agreed — because no one was hurt during the chase — to have the felony downgraded when it reached the county court level.
Marr said it was unclear if her client would be admitted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first-time offenders because of a prior assault charge.
According to a police criminal complaint:
On Friday, April 6 around 5:30 p.m., Frankelli was parked in the grassy median, pointing a radar gun at the Easter holiday traffic on southbound Route 33, when a car from Connecticut — driven by a suspected drunken driver — whizzed by at 86 mph.
But instead of pulling over as the trooper was signaling him to do — and as one of his two passengers was screaming for him to do — the driver, later identified as Savaglio, took off, beginning a chase with speeds that topped 100 mph as the car passed other vehicles on the left using the grassy median.
The screaming passenger — Savaglio's sister — later told police she eventually closed her eyes “because she believed she would die.”
Court records say the 2009 gray Infiniti G37 sedan kicked up a cloud of dirt near the Belfast exit and continued passing on the median between the Filetown Road overpass and the approaching Route 191 exit in Stockertown.
Even after exiting at Route 191, Savaglio failed to pull over, turning left onto Route 191 and then right onto Stockertown’s Main Street. With the trooper still in pursuit, the car approached the Valero gas station. Only when a marked Stockertown police car sped northbound with its lights activated did the fleeing car finally stop.
Frankelli removed Savaglio at gunpoint. The two passengers were Savaglio’s sister and her boyfriend.
Savaglio was read his Miranda rights and then talked. He said he was aware of the trooper trying to pull him over but “he just ran.” He said his Connecticut driver’s license was suspended. And he admitted to having alcoholic beverages — Four Loko, a malt beverage.
His sister told police she was screaming for him to stop, but he didn’t say a word and just kept driving.
Savaglio posted $5,000 bail three days after the incident and was released from Northampton County Prison.