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Columbus Man Faces New Charges After Vehicle Pursuit

WARREN, Pa. — A Warren County man accused of having a gun and running a methamphetamine lab had numerous new charges added to his docket on Tuesday.

Daniel W. Heidler, 35, of Columbus, Pa., was initially listed as a victim, then faced charges including possession of a firearm prohibited and false reports — falsely incriminate another, in regard to an alleged June 27 incident in Columbus Township.

Police said Heidler, who was convicted in 2017 of operating a meth lab and is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, had a .22 caliber rifle during the incident.

When police went to serve a warrant on Heidler, they saw him driving a vehicle. A pursuit ensued, according to police, and Heidler drove across the New York state line, crashed his vehicle, and fled on foot.

Police returned to the residence, according to the affidavit of probable cause, and found the rifle, and “items … associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.”

Heidler was scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing before District Judge Raymond Zydonik on Tuesday.

Because Heidler did not have an attorney present, Zydonik did not conduct the hearing.

“Since you are not represented by an attorney at this point, I will continue your case,” Zydonik said.

He informed Heidler of new charges. “The commonwealth handed me a list of additional charges,” Zydonik said.

The new charges include aggravated assault; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; simple assault; recklessly endangering another person; false reports; operating a methamphetamine lab; possession knowingly possess ephedrine; possessing a precursor substance with intent to manufacture; unauthorized use of motor vehicle; and two counts of receiving stolen property.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18.

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