A Philadelphia man now faces 3 to 8 years behind bars due to causing a series of events that led to critical injuries of a Falls Township police officer.
Wayne Whitley, 40, attempted to use a phony New Jersey driver’s license to apply for a credit card at a Best Buy on Commerce Boulevard in Fairless Hills.
The service desk employee noticed that the license was a fake and immediately contacted the police. Whitley fled the store just as Officer Stephanie Metterle arrived and spotted Whitley’s black Jeep SUV in the parking lot.
The ensuing pursuit led to a three-vehicle crash that injured the officer and one of the other drivers. The jeep escaped.
Officer Metterle was hospitalized in serious condition and is still recovering from her injuries.
Whitley pleaded guilty to felony counts of forgery, access device fraud and fleeing a police officer in the July 7 incident, as well as several lesser offenses, including corruption of minors and recklessly endangering another person. Two juvenile girls were in Whitley’s vehicle at the time – one of them a 15-year-old who had been reported missing in New Jersey.
Last week, Judge Raymond F. McHugh sentenced Whitley to serve 21 months to five years for fleeing, plus a consecutive 15 months to three years for access device fraud.
Whitley has been in prison since his arrest on Aug. 7. His attorney, Sharif Abaza, has filed a motion asking McHugh to reconsider the sentence.
The case was investigated by the Falls Township Police Department.
WBCB’s Ryan Erney contributed to this post.