Cops: Man High On Fentanyl, With Heroin Stored In His Rectum, Leads Police On Wild Chase
Amanda Burg June 27, 2017
A Levittown man was arrested after police allege he injured two officers and fled the scene of a traffic stop.
On Monday around 2 a.m., Middletown Township police were in uniform and on patrol near the intersection of Oxford Valley Road and New Falls Road when their attention was drawn to a dark-colored Jeep Grand Cherokee that was operating at 22 miles over the posted speed limit.
The officer, who initiated a traffic stop in a nearby parking lot, made contact with the driver of the vehicle and its passenger. The driver, who identified himself as “24-year-old Shamael Burke” told officers he was aware he was being stopped for speeding and that he had no identification or papers for the vehicle since he had just bought it. The vehicle’s passenger was a 24-year-old woman.
When police noticed the vehicle’s registration had expired in 2008 and they were having trouble locating the vehicle’s occupants in the system, the officer radioed for backup.
After numerous conversations, none of the officers at the scene were able to positively confirm the identity of either occupant. However, when police searched for the vehicle’s owner, information came back identifying Ishmael Burk, 26, of Levittown, as having a warrant out for his arrest in relation to parole violation, according to court papers.
Police said they approached Burk and instructed him to exit his vehicle. It was at that time that Burk verbally and physically refused and started his vehicle.
When the officers tried to remove Burk from the vehicle, he began kicking the officers with his left leg before placing his vehicle in reverse with both officers standing at his open driver door and accelerating backward, police said.
In the scuffle, Officer Stephen Andrews was projected from the vehicle and thrown to the ground before almost being run over. Some of Andrews’ equipment was also ripped from him as he tumbled onto the asphalt.
Andrews then got up and challenged Burk at gunpoint to stop his vehicle. Instead, Burk shifted into drive and accelerated out of the parking lot and onto Veterans Highway. Officer Thomas Leinheiser ran back to his vehicle and followed Burk on a pursuit through the township. Court documents state that Burk drove over 75 mph and at times in the wrong lane of traffic.
Once in the 1200 block of Veterans Highway, Burk slowed his vehicle down, opened his driver’s side door and exited the moving vehicle. Burk stumbled, fell to the roadway, and appeared to be run over before getting up without his sneakers. He fled westbound on the grass behind the Country Club Apartments, police said.
The vehicle’s passenger reached over from the passenger side in an attempt to steer the vehicle but was met by police and immediately detained, according to court papers.
Officers Andrews and Leinheiser then engaged in a foot pursuit through a wooded and residential area in an attempt to detain Burk. Andrews’ attempted to deploy his taser during the pursuit, but court documents state that it failed to function since it was damaged when Andrews was struck by Burk’s door. The officer’s continued to pursue Burk into the backyard of a home in Levittown’s Snowball Gate section. Burk aggressively and consistently resisted arrest and refused to submit to police commands. It took officer’s four minutes and three uses of Leinheiser’s taser to finally get Burk handcuffed and in custody, police said.
Once in custody, officers arranged emergency medical services for Burk so he could be examined after the use of the taser and appearing to be run over by his own vehicle. Upon arrival to St. Mary Medical Center, Burk made statements to authorities that he had ingested seven packages of heroin with fentanyl and that he had additional quantities of heroin concealed in his rectum.
A preliminary medical exam and CAT scan appeared to confirm Burk’s statement, police said.
Both Middletown officers were treated for their injuries and released.
Burk was charged with six felonies, 14 misdemeanors, and nine summary offenses. He arraigned and remanded to the Bucks County Correctional Facility on 10 percent of $1 million bail.
Charges (if any) against the female passenger have not been filed as Tuesday afternoon.
Editor’s Note: All individuals arrested or charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The story was compiled using information from police and public court documents.