Suspect eludes Freeport police by jumping into Buffalo Creek

Freeport Police with the help of the Freeport Fire Department search under the new Laneville Bridge for a man who eluded capture on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.
Freeport Police with the help of the Freeport Fire Department search under the new Laneville Bridge for a man who eluded capture on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.
Photo by WPXI
Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 10:57 a.m.

Searchers were in Buffalo Creek on Monday morning looking for a man who jumped into the creek to get away from police in Freeport.

The water search was called off when a police dog from the Armstrong County District Attorney's Office found footprints coming out of the creek, Freeport police Chief Jeff Swiklinski said.

Swiklinski said an officer encountered the suspect shortly after 3:30 a.m. at a boat launch on the creek. The officer was following up on a call about a half-hour earlier in regard to a suspicious person knocking on windows at the senior citizen high-rise on Riverside Drive.

Swiklinski said the officer tried to talk with the man and get his identification, but said the man was hostile and uncooperative.

The man kept backing toward the boat launch saying, “I'm not going back to jail,” and ran into the water.

The officer followed the man along the shore as far as he could before losing sight of him, Swiklinski said.

The man was not seen again.

Firefighters with the Freeport Volunteer Fire Department and Citizens Hose, from Harrison, searched the creek. Lower Kiski Emergency Services assisted with sonar.

Based on the footprints that were found, Swiklinski said they believe the man got out of the water, but that is not known for sure.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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