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Man who escaped police in New Kensington, Arnold now faces slew of charges

Chuck Biedka
| Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, 8:51 p.m.
Chrtistopher Anthony
Westmoreland County Prison
Chrtistopher Anthony

A Butler County man who police say escaped from them twice— once while already handcuffed — is in jail, facing charges in three crimes.

Christopher Leroy Anthony, 34, of Simpson Avenue, Chicora, is being held in the West­moreland County Prison on $150,000 combined bond. He faces a slew of charges including burglary and drug possession.

According to records, the first alleged escape happened Aug. 24 in New Kensington.

Police said they encountered Anthony while investigating a report of a man passed out behind the wheel of a silver Dodge Caravan.

Police said the man, identified as Anthony, gave them a wrong date of birth, seemed very nervous, had pinpoint pupils and was sweating profusely.

Police said they saw heroin packets and paraphernalia inside the van.

When Anthony was asked to get out of the van, he allegedly put the van into gear and attempted to leave.

An officer said he reached in through a window and grabbed the gear selector to stop the van.

That apparently didn't last long.

The officer tried to open the driver's door but Anthony put the vehicle into gear and “fled over the curb on Eighth Street at a high rate of speed.”

The car was last seen traveling east on 8th Street toward the YMCA. Police later learned the van was stolen.

Police were looking for Anthony for almost a month on escape and other charges before he was found inside a vacant house in Arnold last week.

Arnold officers said they encountered Anthony, a woman, and the woman's small dog inside the otherwise unoccupied house along the 1300 block of Fourth Avenue just before 2 a.m. on Sept. 28.

In a bedroom, police found numerous syringes, a suspected crack cocaine pipe and cigarette packs and money thought to be taken from an earlier burglary in Upper Burrell, as well as a mallet and crowbar.

Facing numerous charges and at least two arrest warrants, Anthony was taken into custody and handcuffed. He didn't stay in custody for long, however.

Police allege he jumped from a window of the vacant house and landed on a lower roof of the house next door.

He was last seen running north along 14th Street with the small black dog following him.

Anthony was arrested five days later, with the handcuffs still attached to him.

He is charged by New Kensington with aggravated assault, escape, tampering with evidence, having drugs, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment of the officer, reckless driving, giving false ID to police, receiving stolen property, having instruments of crime and driving without a license.

He was separately charged by Arnold police with flight to avoid apprehension, resisting arrest, having instruments of crime and related charges.

On Thursday, District Judge Frank J. Pallone arraigned Anthony on charges in the New Kensington and Arnold cases. Pallone ordered Anthony held in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $100,000 combined bond.

On Friday, he was arraigned on charges involving the Aug. 27 smash-and-grab burglary at the Little Store along 7th Street in Upper Burrell.

Upper Burrell police allege he took about $624 worth of cigarettes and $378 from a safe.

A witness said the burglar was driving a silver Dodge Caravan like the one police say Anthony was driving in Arnold.

Police said inside the van there were small pieces of tempered glass from the Little Store.

On Friday, Anthony was arraigned by District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec on charges of burglary, drug and related counts in the Upper Burrell case.

She ordered him held in lieu of $50,000.

That means he is in the prison in lieu of $150,000 total bond pending preliminary hearings.

Even after those three cases, he won't be done in court.

According to paperwork, state police from Kittanning want to arrest him in a July 27 robbery and theft case in Manor Township, Armstrong County.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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