Cortland woman leads police on car chase through city

Darcey L. Sachetti, 53, of Virgil (Cortland Police Department)

CORTLAND, N.Y. — A Cortland woman led police on a low-speed car chase through the city and past the high school before officers were able to safely stop her late Thursday afternoon on Kellogg Road, according to the Cortland Police Department.

No one was injured, the woman did not strike any other vehicles and no property was damaged, said Lt. Michael Strangeway.

Darcey L. Sachetti, 53, of 2959 Clute Road, Virgil, first fled police after officers responded around 3:30 p.m. to a call on Owego Street, Strangeway said. Sachetti had parked her vehicle in the middle of the road, gotten out and started pounding her fists on the window of another person’s vehicle, he said. That person called police and reported that Sachetti’s hands were bloody.

When officers arrived, Sachetti got back into her vehicle, Strangeway said. Officer Kim Lawrence walked to the woman’s window and ordered her to stop, while Officer Tyler Williams remained in a marked patrol vehicle with his lights on.

“She just drove away,” Strangeway said.

Officers followed Sachetti as she turned east onto Union Street and then south on to South Main Street, according to police. Sachetti turned into the driveway and parking area of Cortland Plastics International, apparently by accident, made a U-turn and drove past police back onto South Main Street, Strangeway said.

From there Sachetti turned left onto Valley View Drive heading east and drove past the Cortland Junior Senior High School, which was out of regular class session as it was after 3:30 p.m., Strangeway said.

“Police radio transmissions indicated that Sachetti was travelling at 36 mph through the school’s 15 mph speed zone,” according to a city police press release.

After passing the school, Sachetti turned on to Pendleton Street heading north towards Huntington Street. Sergeant Seth Rowland was waiting for her after laying a spike stripe to deflate her tires in the intersection, Strangeway said.

Sachetti attempted to drive around the strip, but struck it with both driver’s side tires, Strangeway said. She continued to drive north on the rims, her vehicle tilting to the left side, he said.

Officer Bradley Becker closed the intersection of Port Watson and Pendleton to allow Sachetti and the other officers pursuing her free access through the busy area, Strangeway said. Becker drove east and turned on to Kellogg Road, where a police patrol vehicle was able to pass her. “Once they had her boxed in, they were able to slowly bring her to a stop,” Strangeway said.

The entire chase lasted five minutes and 36 seconds, he said.

Once Sachetti was stopped, officers determined she was intoxicated, according to police.  

Sachetti was charged with three misdemeanors—first-offense driving while intoxicated, third-degree unlawful fleeing from a police officer in a motor vehicle, and reckless driving. She was also charged with 12 traffic infractions, including speeding in a school zone.

After spending the night at the police station, Sachetti was arraigned this morning in City Court and was released to reappear at 9 a.m., Wed.,  March 29.

City Police were assisted by the New York State Police and the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office.