Car catches fire, man arrested in chase

Joseph Lincoln Larry

A former Detroit man who was on that city's most wanted list four years ago as a homicide suspect was out of Michigan jail and in New Castle again when he was arrested Sunday in a second police chase.

Joseph Lincoln Larry, 31, whose current address is 227 Smithfield St., Union Township, is in the Lawrence County jail after leading police on a chase Sunday that ended when his vehicle ignited after a crash.

No injuries were reported in the pursuit, which topped a speed of more than 90 mph as the car sped through the city's West Side and Union Township and ended in Mahoningtown, according to a New Castle police report.

It was nearly déja vu for New Castle police, who had arrested Larry in 2016 as one of Detroit's Most Wanted when he led them on a high speed and foot chase.

When police arrested him again Sunday, they learned he was wanted on a parole violation from Detroit and another state parole warrant in Pennsylvania. New Castle police chief Bobby Salem said that upon checking with Detroit authorities, he learned that Larry had pleaded guilty to two gun-related charges in the Detroit homicide case and was sentenced to one to six years in prison. When he was paroled, Detroit and Pennsylvania authorities granted him a transfer of his parole to Pennsylvania.

City police arrested him Sunday in Mahoningtown after the car he was driving in the chase went up an embankment and stone monument at Liberty and Darlington avenues. Police said he appeared to have misjudged the turn went over a shrub embankment that had a boulder display. 

The car, a blue Chevrolet owned by Larry's female passenger, was smoking from dragging its undercarriage onto the hill, and the front of the car caught fire, according to the city police report. The fire was extinguished and no injuries were reported to either Larry or his passengers.

Earlier in the chase, one male passenger exited the car and ran, police reported.

The police reported that Larry refused to get out of the car after the crash and officers pulled him from the burning vehicle and placed him on the ground. The passenger got out on her own and the New Castle Fire Department arrived to extinguish the fire.

Police reported that Larry smelled of alcohol and they found an open bottle of cognac inside the car, along with open bottles of Corona beer, the complaint states.

It was the New Castle police who arrested Larry after the chase in 2016 when he was wanted by Detroit authorities alleged murder and the other offenses, and he had been featured at the time on a Detroit news channel's series on Detroit's Most Wanted, according to news reports from WXYZ in Detroit. The U.S. Marshals reported at the time they had been seeking him for more than a year. One of the marshals ,in a television interview at that time, said Larry was known to pull a gun on family members and assault a pregnant woman.

Police confirmed Sunday that Larry was wanted on a warrant for a state parole violation and that he did not have a valid driver's license. He was placed in the Lawrence County jail on a detainer after refusing a blood alcohol test.

The pursuit began around 1 a.m. Sunday when a city officer tried to pull him over for a non-working tail light and he sped away, the complaint states. He drove through eight stop signs and at least one red light without stopping during the chase, according to the paperwork.

Larry is charged with two counts each of fleeing police and driving while under the influence, one count each of recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving, careless driving and driving without a license, and multiple traffic violations including eight stop sign violations. He was arraigned Sunday by District Judge Richard Russo, who set his jail bond at $300,000.

dwachter@ncnewsonline.com

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Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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