Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf has released images of the Nov. 7 high-speed, wrong-way chase that resulted in a collision and injured a passing motorist before ending when police fired shots at the suspect.

The suspect has been identified as 32-year-old Cesar Wilkins Romero Colon of Lebanon.

Speaking at a Wednesday, Nov. 30, press conference in the lobby of the Lebanon Municipal Building, Hess Graf presented a series of video and still images that showed the pursuit from its start at 3rd Avenue and East Cumberland Street (Route 422) in the city to Romero Colon’s surrender on Route 422 near Narrows Drive, about 2 miles east.

The District Attorney provided copies of the still images, but declined to provide media outlets with copies of the video.

Previous releases by the D.A. and the Lebanon Police Department, along with Hess Graf’s remarks on Nov. 30, gave this account of the incident that began on a Tuesday afternoon in Lebanon city:

At about 2:24 p.m., Lebanon police officers responded to a report of gunshots in the 1100 block of Brandywine Street on the city’s north side. They discovered a man who told them an assailant with a handgun had ordered him to empty his pockets. The robbery victim fled and heard a shot as he ran away.

Witnesses on scene identified the suspect as Romero Colon and told police he had fled on a bicycle.

About a half hour later, city police responded to a report of the theft of a 2005 Dodge Caravan on North  2nd Street. The owner told officers that he left the vehicle unattended and upon returning found a suspect about to drive it away. The carjacker was Romero Colon, according to police. He pointed a handgun at the Caravan’s owner and told him to stay back or he would shoot, then drove away.

Not long after, South Lebanon police spotted Romero Colon driving the stolen Caravan at 3rd Avenue and East Cumberland Street. They pursued as he sped east on one-way Cumberland Street, weaving through oncoming westbound traffic. East Cumberland Street becomes U.S. Route 422 at the city line.

The high-speed chase ended about 2 miles later when the stolen Caravan struck a another vehicle on Route 422 near Narrows Drive. The driver, a 70-year-old man, was seriously injured and hospitalized. Hess Graf said he has been released but had no further word on his condition.

Still image from dashcam photo shows vehicle struck at Route 422 & Narrows Drive by fleeing Cesar Wilkins Romero Colon. The driver was seriously injured. (Lebanon County D.A.)

Romero Colon, armed with a loaded 9mm handgun, got out of the stolen Caravan and tried to carjack another vehicle.

Dashcam photo shows Romero Colon attempting to carjack a second vehicle after colliding with a passing motorist near Route 422 & Narrows Drive. (Lebanon County D.A.)

At that point, pursuing city officers arrived at the scene, where Romero Colon attacked them and tried unsuccessfully to commandeer a city police vehicle, with an officer inside.

Romero Colon attempting to carjack a Lebanon police vehicle with an officer inside. (Lebanon County D.A.)

Romero Colon eventually surrendered after a South Lebanon officer fired two shots, neither of which struck him, and more officers arrived at the scene.

Armed Romero Colon, shortly before surrendering after shot at by a South Lebanon police officer (Lebanon County D.A.)

Hess Graf said on Wednesday that the officer was justified in shooting at Romero Colon.

Romero Colon is charged with a number of serious felonies including robbery, aggravated assault on police, and possession of a stolen firearm. If convicted, he could spend decades in a state prison.

As of Nov. 30, he remained in the Lebanon County Correctional Facility, unable to post $1 million bail. His preliminary hearing, originally set for Nov. 30, was postponed until Dec. 7.

Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using this contact form and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

Support local journalism.

Cancel anytime.


🌟 Annual

Already a member? Login here

Free news isn’t cheap. If you value the journalism LebTown provides to the community, then help us make it sustainable by becoming a champion of local news. You can unlock additional coverage for the community by supporting our work with a one-time contribution, or joining as a monthly or annual member. You can cancel anytime.

Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...


LebTown membership required to comment.

Already a member? Login here

Leave a comment

Your email address will be kept private.