Police chase leaves too many questions
Residents in Antis Township have many unanswered questions regarding the actions of law enforcement in the events of March 27-28 when a suspect eluded Altoona police after a so-called “controlled” drug purchase in the city and led police on a high-speed pursuit that resulted in the suspect crashing his car on Bell-Tip Road, then fleeing on foot into the surrounding woods.
How did the fugitive manage to flee from a “controlled” drug purchase and endanger numerous residents of the city and surrounding communities?
How does a tracking dog lose the trail of a fugitive when he literally left a trail of shoes and clothes with his scent on them for the dog to follow?
Who made the decision to suspend the search and why?
The county sheriff issued a bulletin over police radio Friday night advising law enforcement that the fugitive was to be considered armed and dangerous, and that he should be approached with extreme caution.
Why was this vital information not shared with the public? What, if any, steps were taken by police to protect residents of this neighborhood from a presumed armed and dangerous fugitive?
Finally, what is the Altoona Police Department going to do to ensure that this doesn’t happen again?
The headline in the March 28 Mirror said, “Police catch accused drug dealer.”
Police never caught him. Police gave up. Residents caught him and turned him over to police. If we waited for police to catch him, he’d still be on the run. And why was he on the run to begin with?
Because Altoona Police botched a “controlled” drug purchase and let him escape.
If the Altoona Police Department is going to conduct these so-called “controlled” drug buys, then they should have sufficient personnel and procedures in place to prevent targets from escaping and putting residents’ lives in peril. Law enforcement needs to be held accountable for their conduct during this incident.
We deserve answers.
Charles Taylor, Tyrone