Man’s murder allegation leads police on chase

ROARING SPRING – Police chased a driver Friday from Roaring Spring to an area outside Hollidaysburg after he told medical workers that he’d killed his wife, officers said.

Roaring Spring Police Chief Milton Fields said he plans to file charges against Ray Messner Jr., 58, of Altoona for an afternoon pursuit that drew officers from seven departments and ended with Messner surrounded by police on Reservoir Road.

Messner was leaving an appointment at Southern Cove Medical Associates about 1 p.m. when he told staff he had murdered his wife, Fields said.

Employees called police, and officers stopped Messner near the Nason Hospital parking lot.

Fields said he tried to talk to Messner, who “started screaming and yelling” before he allegedly drove away in a pickup truck, narrowly missing Fields’ car.

Police allegedly chased Messner on Route 36 before he turned toward Hollidaysburg. Officers from Freedom Township, Martinsburg, Greenfield Township and Hollidaysburg joined the response, as well as Blair County sheriff’s deputies and state police troopers.

Officers checked on Messner’s wife and found she was alive, Fields said.

Messner’s alleged escape ended when police cars surrounded him on three sides and forced his truck off Reservoir Road near DeGol Brothers Lumber, Fields said.

He was taken to UPMC Altoona for medical and mental treatment, Fields said. Messner wasn’t injured in the pursuit, and no other motorists were harmed, police said. Fields said he plans to charge Messner with fleeing police, reckless driving, careless driving and disorderly conduct, possible among other crimes.

Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.