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Alleged robber waives preliminary hearing

| Friday, Oct. 5, 2001

A Pittsburgh man who allegedly robbed a Somerset County bank and led police on a lengthy chase through Fayette County waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday on charges related to the chase.

Brian A. Fisher, 23, of 1112 N. Murtland St., was arrested after ramming a state police cruiser with his truck while driving west in the eastbound lane of U.S. Route 40 on the Summit Mountain, South Union Township.

Fisher allegedly robbed the Promistar Bank in New Centerville Borough on Sept. 5 at 12:02 p.m.

A dog handler who was heading to Somerset County to help track the suspect spotted Fisher in a Ford truck described by police as one involved in the crime.

Bob Vail, a member of the Fayette County Sheriff's Tactical Search and Rescue Team, turned and followed Fisher's vehicle toward Uniontown, and phoned police.

When police tried to stop Fisher, he allegedly began driving in excess of 90 mph and crossed into the eastbound lanes to avoid a tire-flattening device that police had laid across the road.

Near a runaway truck ramp, state police Trooper Gerald A. Furajter crossed through an opening in the jersey barriers and was struck by Fisher's truck.

Fisher later got out of his truck and fled on foot. He was apprehended shortly afterward with cash allegedly stolen from the bank.

He faces charges of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and fleeing or attempting to elude police.

Joe George Jr., Fayette County first trial assistant district attorney, said charges against Fisher may be moved to Somerset County or to federal court in compliance with a recent decision that mandates crimes arising out of a single criminal episode must be tried only once.

Fisher is being held at the Fayette County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bond.

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