UPDATE: Local Police Seek Philly Hit & Run Suspect

Authorities say the fugitive is still at large, but have still not released his identity. The suspect is wanted by Philadelphia police in connection with the Olney hit-and-run that sent a police officer to the hospital.

Update: West Norriton Police Chief Robert Adams has confirmed that the subject of last night's manhunt in West Norristown and Norristown was, in fact, the suspect in the Olney hit-and-run that sent a Philadelphia police officer to the hospital with a brocken ankle.

Chief Adams and Philadelphia police have confirmed that the suspect is still at large, but are not releasing his identity to the public. 

Norristown Patch will update this story as more information becomes available. 


Earlier Story

Police from several area municipalities joined in a multi-departmental manhunt Tuesday night, July 17, that began in West Noriton and led authorities into Norristown in search of an unidentified suspect reportedly wanted by Philadelphia police.

As of 3 a.m. Wednesday, authorities had not confirmed the identity of the suspect or the nature of his crime, but a source confirmed what many area residents had already surmised – the man being sought by police was wanted in connection with a hit-and-run incident in the Olney section of Philadelphia earlier in the evening that sent a Philadelphia police officer to the hospital.

According to reports from CBS3 and 6ABC Action News, a Philadelphia police officer conducted a traffic stop on a 2011 black Ford F150 shortly before 8 p.m., and after taking the driver's license and registration, asked the suspect to step out of the vehicle.

"The individual started acting very suspiciously, making a lot of furtive moves inside the vehicle, so the officers, for their self-protection, asked the suspect to step out of the vehicle," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told Action News.

The suspect reportedly refused and sped off, dragging the officer with him for at least a block.

The 26-year-old officer was reportedly taken to Einstein Medical Center for multiple injuries to his face, head and body and given a cast for a broken ankle.

Authorities found the suspect's vehicle in a nearby alley and recovered a gun from nearby, but it is unclear if the gun belonged to the suspect. 

Philadelphia authorities had the suspect's identification and notified police departments in our area, effecting the manhunt that began approximately an hour later in West Norriton near an address authorities had for the suspect.

Sources confirmed that police had an unidentified woman in custody who allegedly picked the suspect up in Philadelphia and transported him to West Norriton. West Norriton Police reportedly cornered the vehicle the two were traveling in in the area of Whitehall Road and West Marshall Street, but lost the suspect when he took off on foot. Norristown and Lower Providence Police soon joined West Norriton in the manhunt.

Residents of the sleepy neighborhood commented on Facebook about helicopters with searchlights, K-9 units and a small army of police officers canvassing the area in search of the fugitive.

Officers reportedly tracked the suspect to Evergreen Road where they lost his scent. Police were then reportedly able to track the supect's cell phone to an area near Hartranft Drive and Lincoln Terrace before his phone was turned off.

Authorities have not yet identified the suspect, but describe him as a 27-year-old male with a light complexion, 6’2” tall and weighing 170 lbs. The supsect is also reportedly covered in tattos on his chest, shoulders, arms and lower back. The suspect was last seen wearing a white tank top and dark-colored cargo shorts.

Norristown Patch will confirm details of the incident with local authorities and update the story as more information becomes available. Anyone with information about the suspect should contact the at 610-270-0977 or at 610-630-1701.

MajorBonor July 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM
JOSEPH July 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM
James Myers (Editor) July 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Thanks, Major. Needless to say, I was pretty bleary-eyed when I wrote this. :)
Concerned Neighbor July 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Agreed Joseph!
Aric July 18, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Not quite sure what more information you could need, Joseph. Only time I can think of that justifies a helicopter circling with a spotlight is an police emergency of some sort, at which point heading inside and locking the doors is common sense. If you want more information, a call to the police non-emergency number works, and in this case resulted in "searching for a suspect in the area who is on foot. Please stay inside, lock doors and windows and call if you see anything suspicious". Otherwise police scanner radios are fairly inexpensive and many available over the Internet. So while I agree with the sentiment of 'it would be nice if they would tell us', the truth is when things like this happen they have more than enough on their hands already and don't need untrained "helpers" wandering about. Best thing to do is do as I was instructed last night when I called- go inside, lock doors, report anything suspicious.
JOSEPH July 18, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Aric July 18, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Impressive reply, Joseph. Seriously. Anyway, if it's not common sense to you *not* to take out the trash when there's a helicopter with searchlight circling overhead, Lord help you.
B July 18, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Going to weigh in here as the daughter of a police officer and agree with Aric. Police have better things to do in a situation like this than field multiple "what's going on?" calls, like, oh, looking for the suspect.
Aric July 18, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Side note- I trust everyone's aware of the severe budget cuts the WNT Police received this year due to falling Township revenue and reluctance to raise taxes... B is right, they've got better things to do when stuff like this is happening and don't need everyone and their cousin calling. I didn't call until it had been going on almost an hour, and even then only because the helicopter had been directly overhead. Dunno where Joseph lives, but I'm 2 very short blocks from where the suspect lives.
Aric July 18, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Point being they're understaffed and last thing they need is the additional burden of pushing information out to everyone in the Township and having to deal with untrained self-appointed "helpers" making their jobs even more dangerous than they already are.
Weezee July 18, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Thank you, like everything else in WN - let's keep it a secret and maybe we'll pull the wool over their eyes.
Weezee July 18, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Responding to 'B's' statement: Than Aric you were clogging up the phone line by calling to ask 'why is there a helicopter with a search light flying over head?' If you had used common sence you would have forgone the phone call - 'Only time I can think of that justifies a helicopter circling with a spotlight is an police emergency of some sort, at which point heading inside and locking the doors is common sense.'
Weezee July 18, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Aric, it was happening in all the neighborhoods surrounding where he lives; when I first heard it I thought it was a medical helicopter waiting to land at the ball field; I hear the Medical Helicopters always as I am in their fly zone. I was out with my pooch; saw the spot light, realized it was not medical but criminal. When the police officer stopped because they saw a body - don't you think it was not just courtesy but civic duty to say something at that point? Oh no, just let me out there with my little pup while we have a criminal on the loose.
Weezee July 18, 2012 at 05:44 PM
.........and before you say it, yes, I was smart enough to head indoors and lock myself in -- I was even intelligent enough to turn on the outside lights.
Aric July 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
That's the point I'm trying to make, Weezee... Where do you draw the line? What does the populace get alerted for and what don't they? At what point does informing the populace result in increased danger to the police, who are trained to deal with things like this? Bear in mind, in this case the suspect had already put one cop into the hospital and fled through several jurisdictions... Yes, I called. After the helicopter had been overhead almost an hour and after checking the news, the WNT Police dice and the Times Herald. Sure, they *could* push this information out like they do with Amber Alerts, but *should* they, given the questions above? And really, if you want to know what's going on 24/7 get a police scanner. There's even apps for phones that do it nowadays, and I'm now thinking I need to reinstall one.
Weezee July 18, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Aric, When a Helicopter is circling above my house and police officers are driving up and down my street with search lights; YOU ARE DARN RIGHT THEY SHOULD BE INFORMING THE RESIDENTS WHAT IS HAPPENING. When something of this magnitude happens - it is not just our own police department looking; there is a combined effort with other law enforcement municpalities and government. I don't need a police scanner to tell me something is happening in my neighborhood - I need to know what IS happening. The news did not have elaborate on the WN search, the Times Herald is a day late and a dollar short, and I already subscribe to Ready PA for our county - who had an obligation to send out an 'alert' for the residents of WN, EN, and Norristown. Doesn't taking protective measures against criminal activity also fall under precaution, prepared, alerted?
Weezee July 18, 2012 at 06:28 PM
and just a side note ----- if the township did not waste money, if the township would be smart in it's decision making, if the township would clean up it's main thorofare and bring business back to the area maybe they wouldn't be looking a 'severe budget cuts'. Most of us are in the same boat: I was forced to take a budget cut, my neighbor was forced to take a budget cut, the family down the street was forced to take a budget cut.
K July 18, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Don't blame the police that were just doing there job. If you need more than a helicopter with a spotlight for you to recognize you need to lock your doors than I understand why they need to put warning labels that the coffee you just purchased is hot.
Weezee July 18, 2012 at 07:08 PM
K - that is just unfair. But in all sincerity, yes there are people who need those warning labels. However, being informed also aids in making other informed constructive choices. How about the person who works the night shift and must go to work - or - the person coming home from the 2nd shift or 2nd job at this time? It is not just adults you need to worry about when something is going on - you need to open your narrow minds of 'YO Dummy, use your common sence, lock your doors and windows'. Not one thought about another human being who would have been returning or leaving their home during this time, or the elderly person on their block. Think past the bashing - of YO JERK - can't you think and use 'COMMON SENCE'? - Common Sence tells me Knowledge and information is a resourceful tool......
K July 18, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Weezee, I 100% get where you are coming from but if the police have limited resources and need to address the issue at hand. Who is to say any announcement would even be heard when someone is getting ready to go to work a second shift or job. I grew up with a parent that worked shift work turning on a radio or tv was not the priority. Spending the few minutes extra you have home was not focused on the outside world but within. Besides knocking on everyone's door what could reach the masses and ensure everyone found out...very little. Sometimes unfortunately we have to rely on being aware of our surroundings and that this day and age can't be in just an emergency.
Aric July 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Had a nice, long post regarding this earlier, but it was met with a "hold on Tolstoy, limit your response to 1500 characters" warning and was then lost (damned phone). Perhaps the answer is to the get the Montco Alert PA (https://montco.alertpa.org/index.php?CCheck=1) site to break down their fire/police alerts down to Township... They seem to work well enough for storm warnings and Amber Alerts, but not so well for "siren down the street". Then again, listening to the police scanner last night and hearing the number of incidents *NOT* related to the helicopter, perhaps that would lead to information overload. Interesting discussion where to draw that line, and I'd suggest that would be a good topic for discussion at the next Township meeting.
Aric July 19, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Had a nice long post replying to this mess, and then the phone lost it. Touched on a bit of it above, but the main point I wanted to make is that all of you wanting the Township to notify you why there was a helicopter out last night are suspiciously missing from the comments in the article from this morning about a transformer blowing up and forcing an unexpected shutdown of Unit 1 of the Limerick nuclear reactor. Which is really a bigger threat to you and your home/loved ones? The guy who fled a routine traffic stop in Olney, or a potential nuclear meltdown in Limerick? Dunno about the rest of you, but I lived in the area during TMI and have done quite a bit of research on the topic, and frankly the fact that the Unit 1 shutdown barely made the news is far more frightening.
Cynthia Brennan September 18, 2012 at 01:44 AM
If you knew the story behind the "crime" you'd all be laughing right now. This was no "criminal". Cops went too far as usual.


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