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Police in Lebanon County arrest suspect wanted for striking officers with vehicle while fleeing DUI stop

Steven Pensel, 50, allegedly fled from a traffic stop while taunting Womelsdorf Police officers to shoot him in an incident on Nov. 28, 2022, authorities allege.
Credit: Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers
Steven Pensel

WOMELSDORF, Pa. — Police in Lebanon County have arrested a suspect accused of striking several officers with his vehicle while fleeing from a traffic stop last November.

Steven Pensel, 50, was charged with two felonies, six misdemeanors and seven summary traffic violations stemming from a Nov. 28, 2022 incident that began in Womelsdorf, according to Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers.

Authorities said that at about 8:15 p.m., Womelsdorf Police initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle Pensel was driving. The contacting officer noticed the strong smell of marijuana emanating from the vehicle and observed bags, a crate and a metal box in its interior.

The officer allegedly conducted a field sobriety test on Pensel and contacted other officers to report to the scene to take Pensel into custody.

When the other officers arrived, Pensel began to fight and resist arrest, police claim. The officers deployed a Taser on Pensel twice, but he was able to re-enter his vehicle and flee from the scene, according to police.

As he left, he struck some of the officers with his vehicle, causing minor injuries, police said. He also taunted the officers, inviting them to shoot him, according to police.

The vehicle was found in Myerstown, Lebanon County, and was determined to be an Enterprise rental car. 

The bags, crate and metal box had been removed from the vehicle. Pensel was not at the scene.

Police issued an arrest warrant on Pensel, charging him with aggravated assault, aggravated assault by vehicle, simple assault, fleeing or attempting to elude police, resisting arrest, DUI (controlled substance), disorderly conduct, accidents involving death or personal injury and several summary offenses.

He was arrested on Tuesday after nearly two months on the run, according to Crime Stoppers.

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