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Adrian man arrested after 10-hour standoff

| Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 3:09 p.m.
Louis B.Ruediger | Leader Times
A Washington firefighter talks with a state police trooper on Old Reesedale Road in Adrian. Police had a trailer with a fugitive inside surrounded and had blocked roads around the site. Tuesday May 12, 2014

Law enforcement officials used heavy machinery to rip the ends off a trailer where a fugitive was holed up and flushed the man out with tear gas to end a 10-hour standoff on Tuesday in Adrian, Washington Township.

The incident started about 10:30 a.m. at 361 Old Reesedale Road, when authorities tried to serve warrants on Chester Emery Croyle Jr., 43, according to Armstrong County Sheriff Bill Rupert.

According to state police, Croyle was wanted on charges that included raping a child. Also pending were a mental health warrant and a bench warrant for allegedly violating a protection from abuse order, police said.

“We got a tip he was back out here, then we saw him,” Rupert said about 4 p.m.

State police said Croyle retreated into his trailer when he saw law enforcement and refused to come out.

Rupert said most of the standoff was spent with state police attempting to negotiate with Croyle to come out peacefully.

It wasn't until about 8:30 p.m. that Croyle was forced from his house and taken into custody.

No one was injured during the arrest, police said.

Unmarked police cars, a Special Emergency Response Team truck and heavy equipment were brought into the rural farming community to assist with negotiations. Rupert said the large SERT truck was being used as protection for officers outside the trailer.

“He has made some threats to the police,” Rupert said, adding that the area was secured to ensure the safety of people in the area.

Firefighters closed Johns Road and Spring Road where both meet Old Reesedale Road. Both ends of Old Reesedale Road were shut down.

All traffic was detoured, including school buses. Parents were directed to pick up their children at the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department at 1124 Reesedale Road after school let out.

Information about the alleged sexual assault was not available late Tuesday. According to court documents filed on Tuesday, state police allege the assault occurred in Washington Township on Jan. 1, 2013.

Croyle faces two counts each of rape of a child, indecent assault of a child younger than 13, statutory sexual assault of an 11-year-old child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Police expect to charge him with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct as a result of Tuesday's standoff.

He was imprisoned in the Armstrong County Jail with bail to be determined once he was arraigned by video camera from the jail overnight.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com. Staff writer Liz Hayes contributedto this report.

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