A Philadelphia police officer is in the Montgomery County jail, charged in connection with a home invasion early Monday in Pottstown, law enforcement officials said.
A second man also is jailed, while a third remains at large, said Risa Vetri Ferman, Montgomery County first assistant district attorney.
Malik Snell, an 11-year veteran of the police department, was the alleged getaway driver after the home invasion turned violent, Ferman said yesterday. Ferman said Snell led Pottstown police on a chase that reached 130 m.p.h.
Philadelphia police said Snell was suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss. Snell has been a police officer since 1996, according to city payroll records. He is assigned to the 18th District in West Philadelphia.
The break-in took place after midnight on Rowland Street in Pottstown, Ferman said. Snell waited in an SUV while his brother-in-law, Tyree Aimes, also of Philadelphia, and Stephon Gibson, forced their way inside the property, she said.
Ferman said the men were looking to retaliate against someone they thought had stolen money from a friend of theirs who was a drug dealer.
Apparently, the men picked the wrong address and broke into the apartment of a couple who were not involved, Ferman said. Aimes and Gibson beat the couple at gunpoint and fled, Ferman said. Snell and Aimes left in the SUV; Gibson was left behind, she said.
Pottstown police were soon in pursuit of Snell's vehicle, traveling north on Route 422. The high-speed chase spilled into Berks County, where Exeter Township police tried to lay out spike strips to stop the SUV.
Before they set up the road spikes, Snell's SUV crashed into another vehicle near the intersection of Route 422 and Gibraltar Road, said Exeter Township Officer Joe Malone.
The three people in the other vehicle were treated at Reading Hospital and released. Aimes and Snell left the scene on foot, and were arrested by a Pottstown K-9 officer and two Exeter police officers, Malone said.
Snell, found hiding in a shed, was arrested when a police dog bit him after he refused to comply with police, Ferman said.
Gibson had not been apprehended and was considered armed and dangerous, Ferman said.
Snell and Aimes were being held at Montgomery County Prison, with bail set at $500,000, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.