Police, briefly

Authorities have arrested a Blue Bell man for driving and crashing a car while drunk, killing one of his passengers.

Sean Christopher Sperl, 21, was charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol and related charges. On April 23, the Pennsylvania State Police and Montgomery County District Attorney's Office say, a crash occurred on State Route 563 in Salford Township when Sperl struck a utility pole while behind the wheel of a green 2000 Honda Civic drunk. A passenger, Ryan Alexander Petrille, was killed.

Police say Sperl’s blood alcohol concentration tested at 0.175% — more than twice the state's legal limit. 

"Sperl failed to recognize and/or adhere to roadway signage that warned southbound traffic to reduce speed to 35 miles per hour for the upcoming curve," authorities said in a statement. "Sperl entered the right curve at a speed of approximately 83 miles per hour to 93 miles per hour and was unable to safely negotiate it. ..."

Montgomery County court records show that Sperl has been charged before, including with speeding, obedience to traffic control devices, and disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty in all of those cases, according to records.

Sperl was arraigned Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge Catherine M. Hummel Fried and bail was set at $50,000. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 18.


Towamencin Police are investigating the theft of copper pipes, fittings and other metal items from the Inglewood Elementary School on Allentown Road.

The incident might have occurred anytime between July 4 at 3 p.m. to July 5 at 6 a.m., said Police Chief Paul T. Dickinson.

The area where the theft occurred is an unlocked area that is under construction. Dickinson listed the missing items as 10, 20-foot long copper pipes, 18 brass ball valves, 100 copper fittings and five reels of 2,500-foot solid #12 copper wire. The wire is estimated to be worth $1,200. Authorities still are tallying the total value of the items.

Anyone with information can call the Towamencin Police at 215-368-7606.