Johnathan Scott Gallaher

Johnathan Scott Gallaher

A Johnstown man is headed for trial in Cambria County court, accused of stealing a van and leading police on a chase that ended in a crash in Adams Township and injured two city police officers, authorities said.

Johnathan Scott Gallaher, 23, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday before District Judge Kevin Price, of Johnstown.

According to a criminal complaint, a Johnstown police officer spotted a stolen white Chevrolet Express van at 2 a.m. Nov. 1.

The driver failed to stop and a chase pursued through the city onto the eastbound lanes of the Johnstown Expressway and then onto U.S. Route 219. 

The van exited on Elton Road and continued into Adams Township, where the driver lost control on Krayn Road and drove into a field, the complaint said.

When pursuing officers got out of their cruisers, the driver allegedly drove the van toward them, and one officer fired a shot into the van’s left rear tire.

The van got back onto Krayn Road and fled again, but spun out about a mile down the road, ending the chase, the complaint said.

After the van driver, later identified as Gallaher, was removed from the van, he allegedly punched one officer and a second officer was struck by shards of glass when the van’s window was broken to remove Gallaher, the complaint said.

The two officers were treated at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center and later returned to work.

Gallaher reportedly admitted to an officer that “he took the vehicle from the Kernville section of the city because the keys were in the vehicle,” the complaint said.

He faces charges, including nine counts of aggravated assault and one count each of theft, receiving stolen property, resisting arrest and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Gallaher is being held at Cambria County Prison on $100,000 percentage bond.  

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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