ITHACA, N.Y. – An Ithaca man who is facing multiple charges after leading police in a chase earlier this year pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment on Friday afternoon.
Dennis E. Noonan, 24, was arrested on May 29 after he attempted to flee from New York State Police officers who directed the vehicle to pull over around 7 p.m. on Franklin Road in Lansing. Noonan allegedly climbed from the passenger seat onto a woman who was driving the car and forcibly took control of the car. According to his indictment, Noonan drove at least 25 miles per hour over the limit while fleeing.
After blowing past a stop sign, police said Noonan then crashed the 2000 Nissan Maxima, injuring the female driver.
Police say upon further investigation, they found Noonan had been involved in a burglary at the Valero gas station in Dryden a few days earlier on May 26. According to records, Noonan allegedly broke into the gas station with another participant in the crime and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and other property.
Noonan was allegedly armed with a shotgun which had been reported stolen, which was recovered by police after the vehicle crash.
Alyxandra Stanczak, the prosecutor for the case, said there was strong evidence against Noonan.
“There was an officer who witnessed the defendant flee from him,” she said. “He actually hopped into a vehicle to flee from the police which ended up crashing.”
Stanczak added that there was video surveillance evidence from the Valero burglary.
However, Noonan’s attorney, Thomas Kheel, said there was no way to identify Noonan in the video, but instead depicted a person in a mask.
“Without drug addiction, this never would have happened,” Kheel said. “(Noonan) has never been to rehab, but maybe now is the right time.”
Noonan was charged on a five-count indictment with second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, second-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree unlawfully fleeing from a police officer in a motor vehicle. Stanzyak said the burglary charge could carry 5-15 years in prison as a predicate felon.
Noonan pleaded not-guilty to all five charges. His next court appearance is scheduled for August 24 in Tompkins County Court.