York man arrested for allegedly crashing stolen car into York County deputy coroner’s vehicle

YORK — A man left in the back seat of a car Saturday night allegedly stole the car, drove it into a parked SUV belonging to a deputy coroner investigating the scene of an overdose, and led police on a short chase before being apprehended, according to York City Police.

Joseph Edward Griffith, 32, of the first block of North Franklin Street, is charged with theft, DUI, accident involving damage to unattended vehicle or property and driving with a suspended or revoked license, according to court documents.

He was arraigned on the charges and released on $10,000 bail, court documents state.

Edward was visiting someone on the 100 block of South Sheridan Street Saturday night, along with the owner of the car and her boyfriend, police say. The victim and her boyfriend left him in the back seat when the exited the vehicle. The keys were left in the ignition, the victim said.

When the victim came back outside a few minutes later, Edward and the car were gone, so she reported the vehicle, a gray Chevrolet Impala, stolen.

According to York Police, the Impala struck a parked Chevrolet Suburban belonging to York County Deputy Coroner Tania Zech, who was working on the scene of an overdose death on the 400 block of North Princess Street, just before 8:30 p.m. An officer standing on an adjacent sidewalk witnessed the crash.

Police say the Impala did not stop, so officers notified York County 911 and initiated a pursuit. The Impala did not stop, ignoring police sirens and lights while heading east on West College Avenue. The car eventually stopped in the area of West College Avenue and South George Street, police say.

When officers approached the vehicle, they found Griffith at the wheel. Police say he appeared to be under the influence of a drug or alcohol, and refused orders to get out of the vehicle.

He was then arrested, police say.

A search of the vehicle revealed a half-empty bottle of E&J Brandy in the center console, according to police.