Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2011
Source: Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
Copyright: 2011 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Chuck Biedka, Valley News Dispatch 


A New Kensington man who died after leading police on a brief chase
early Sunday morning apparently choked to death in his vehicle.

Allegheny County police said Curtis D. Patterson, 40, was found in his
vehicle about 2 a.m. Sunday. Patterson, who fled police about an hour
earlier, tried to make a high-speed turn from Freeport Road in East
Deer onto the Ninth Street Bridge, but his car struck one of the
concrete approaches to the bridge, according to Tarentum police Chief
Bill Vakulick.

Allegheny County police Lt. Andy Schurman said on Monday that
Patterson's windpipe was found to be blocked with marijuana and a
plastic bag that had contained the drug. Police surmise that Patterson
tried to swallow the bag with the marijuana in it after police tried
to stop his vehicle in Tarentum at about 1 a.m.

Patterson was pronounced dead shortly after 3 a.m. in Allegheny Valley
Hospital, Harrison.

Tarentum police had stopped Patterson's car, but he fled the scene at
high speed. Police chased him for about one block before calling off
the chase.

"Local police had a very brief pursuit but ended it because it was at
high speed and dangerous," Schurman said.

County police routinely took over the investigation because a death
had occurred.

Court records show that Patterson was charged with selling drugs in
West Mifflin and New Kensington. He served probation in each case.
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