A man who led police on a chase that ended with a Fort Wayne police officer collapsing and later dying, pleaded guilty Friday to felony charges of burglary, resisting police and driving after a lifetime suspension of his license.
Patrick A. Faiers, 49, was drunk when he stole a pickup from a construction business and led police on the chase Sept. 10. The pursuit ended in a wooded area on the city's south side, and he was arrested.
Officer David Tinsley, 50, helped track him down but collapsed on the way back to his car after Faiers was captured. He was pronounced dead at a hospital after police at the scene tried to revive him.
Faiers will serve three years in prison, according to a plea agreement filed in Allen Superior Court. Charges of theft, criminal mischief and criminal trespass will be dropped as part of the agreement with prosecutors.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 5.
New Haven police were called around 10 p.m. Sept. 10 to investigate a stolen vehicle and a crash from which the vehicle fled. Faiers' wife told investigators her husband “just drank a fifth of Rumple Minze schnapps and started acting crazy,” according to court documents.
A green truck taken from Don R. Fruchey Inc. – less than a half-mile from Faiers' home in the 5400 block of Old Maumee Road – was noticed by police on East Cox Drive and South Calhoun Street. When officers tried to stop it, the vehicle took off onto Southcrest Road.
The truck, driven by Faiers, eventually traveled onto Fairfield Avenue and into the Candlelite Apartments complex, where it got stuck in a grassy area before driving over a curb, down a hill and onto the Rivergreenway.
Faiers fled on foot but was arrested shortly after. His criminal record includes several arrests for vehicle- and traffic-related offenses including drunken driving stretching back more than 30 years.
Tinsley was at least the ninth active-duty police officer with the Fort Wayne or Allen County Sheriff's departments to die in the line of duty or while serving in the military.