Manhunt forces temporary closure of some Delaware State Forest Areas in Northeastern Pennsylvania

delaware state forest
(Supplied Image)

Harrisburg, Pa. – Acting in concert with the Pennsylvania State Police and in the wake of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s temporary suspension of hunting and closure of its game lands within seven townships in northeastern Pennsylvania during an ongoing manhunt, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is closing sections of Delaware State Forest to hunters and others traveling on foot in the woodlands.

Earlier today Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough issued an executive order to temporarily close game lands and suspend hunting and trapping seasons within Price, Barrett and Paradise townships in Monroe County; and Blooming Grove, Porter, Lehman and Greene townships in Pike County. The townships all are within Wildlife Management Unit 3D.

“Safety of state forestland visitors is paramount as the search continues for the fugitive wanted in the shooting death of a state police trooper,” said DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti. “This is a necessary inconvenience to many but it is designed to aid investigators and protect all forest visitors, not just hunters.”

The secretary stressed all public-use roads will remain open to transit. Walking within state forestlands in the designated townships is strongly discouraged, she said.

“As the largest land owner in that area, it is a sound decision to follow recommendations of Pa. State Police and temporally close all forestland in an area designated by state police,” Ferretti said.

The closures were initiated after state police advised Tuesday that troopers searching for fugitive Eric Frein had uncovered explosive devices apparently left behind in wooded areas by the fugitive, and would pose an obvious danger to anyone who would encounter them.

“These findings posed new justification for this serious and wide-sweeping decision,” said Ferretti. “With archery season rapidly approaching this Saturday, and fall foliage viewing in that area moving into high gear, we ask the patience and understanding of all who enjoy the Delaware Forest.”

Frein is wanted in the Sept. 12 ambush-shooting death of Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson II outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pike County. Trooper Alex Douglass was wounded in the attack.

Delaware State Forest totals 83,519 acres in Pike, Monroe, Northampton, and Carbon counties. DCNR earlier this week issued an advisory to those frequenting the search area, or planning to visit, to do so with caution.


Armed Robbery at Golden Dawn in New Kensington

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NEW KENSINGTON, PA.- An armed robbery occurred Tuesday evening at the Golden Dawn in New Kensington just before 9:00 pm as the store was closing.

Detective Sergeant Dino DiGiacobbe said the actor entered the store around 9:00 pm with a gun and forced a manager back from the doors. The actor pointed the small-caliber gun at two employees and fired a warning shot. No one was injured.

The actor jumped over the counter and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. Detective DiGiacobbe said the suspect fled out the front door and ran alongside the building towards Carl Avenue. The search dog lost the scent on the actors path. The gun was described as silver and black.

Police are searching for a black male 5’9 stocky build, red hoodie, white tennis shoes and a beige bandanna. Lori Townsend, a witness at the store and waiting for her boyfriend to get off work said she heard one gunshot and saw the shooter run out the front door. Townsend said he headed along side the building towards a fence and then made a cut out of sight.

A search dog from Plum Borough has been called to the scene and is currently searching for the actor. Police departments from Arnold, Lower Burrell, Tarentum, Brackenridge and New Kensington along with New Kensington detectives were on scene.

New Kensington Police is asking anyone who may have information of this suspect to call Westmoreland 911 or the New Kensington Police Department at (724) 339-7533

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


Pennsylvania State Police update on Eric Matthew Frein search operations

Frein pipe bomb 2
(Pennsylvania State Police Photo)

HARRISBURGH, PA. – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) continue to investigate the shooting incident at the Blooming Grove station where two Pennsylvania State Police troopers were ambushed by Eric Matthew Frein.

“Over the past 18 days, we’ve had upwards of 1000 law enforcement personnel from around the commonwealth working this operation,” said Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations. “Our troopers and law enforcement personnel have worked tirelessly, putting in many long hours, to bring Eric Matthew Frein to justice.”

“As I’ve indicated in the past, our search area is determined by the information available to us at any given point in time,” said Bivens. “Currently, our search area has moved slightly to the south but remains focused within several square miles near the Pike/Monroe border.” State police are attempting to minimize the use of road closures and vehicle check points – in an effort to lessen direct impact on those who live in the community.

“While state police remain confident Frein has spent a significant amount of time in the woods near his home, we need to follow-up on all information available to us – these may include areas where investigators have been told Frein has frequented in the past,” said Bivens. “Some of these locations are outside the immediate perimeter,” added Bivens.

“As I have mentioned before, there are numerous places Frein may be using for shelter – hundreds of vacant cabins and homes in these areas are potential hiding places and need to be cleared,” said Bivens. Pennsylvania’s fall archery deer season is set to open throughout the commonwealth beginning this Saturday, Oct. 4th. State police are working with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to appropriately prepare for the upcoming season. “We want to remind hunters to be alert when accessing cabins in the search areas,” said Bivens. “If you find items disturbed or missing, please leave the cabin immediately, as to not disturb the evidence, and contact 911 or the tip line at 866-326-7256.”

Over the last few days state police have found several items that undoubtedly confirm Eric Frein is hiding in our search area. “We have found a number of items belonging to Frein – some of which were clearly hastily discarded,” said Bivens. “Of significance, we located two pipe bombs which were fully functional and capable of being deployed — the pipe bombs had the ability to be detonated by either the use of trip wires or a lighted fuse. These devices are consistent with Frein’s non-confrontational and gutless efforts to injure or kill law enforcement from a distance,” added Bivens.

“All of the available evidence indicates our efforts are putting significant pressure on Frein,” added Bivens. “I am again calling on you, Eric, to surrender,” said Bivens. “You are clearly
stressed and are making significant mistakes. We continue to take your supplies and your weapon stockpiles –while you are no-doubt weakening, the resolve of our troopers is strong. We are not going anywhere.”

“We are asking the public to remain vigilant when accessing the Pike/Monroe search area – as the possibility exists he may have placed similar devices within that area,” continued Bivens.
Frein is considered armed and dangerous and state police are asking people to stay out of the search areas for their own safety. The state police continue to ask the public for any photos/videos previously taken from trail cameras in those areas and which may contain images of Frein or other suspicious activity.


Arson fire in Spruce Alley at 15th Street in Arnold

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:43 pm

ARNOLD, Pa. – More criminal mischief plagues the community of Arnold as firefighters respond to an intentionally set fire from garbage debris in Spruce Alley.

Arnold Police arrived on scene at approximately 10:15 pm to find the debris fully involved but not endangering any other structures. Arnold Fire Department quickly arrived on scene to put out the blaze that appeared to be doors and other wood type debris.

In other nightly NEWS: Radio reports indicated a black Chevy Malibu possibly involved in this afternoon’s gunfire is back in the area and was reported to be “surrounding the block”.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


Shots fired in broad daylight on Kenneth Avenue

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 2:35 pm

NEW KENSINGTON, PA. – Law Enforcement Officers from New Kensington responded to a report of approximately 11 shots fired in broad daylight in the 1200 block of Kenneth Avenue just after 1:00 pm today.

Detective Lt. Jim Klein said one round struck a residence , one round struck the front of the Canaan Outreach Ministry church and one round struck a sign in front of the church. No one was injured and police are still trying to put it all together as to why and who did this. Witnesses spoken to at the scene said a black Monte Carlo with red pinstripes fled the scene and had been seen in the area the past couple days. Mary Queen of Apostles school was put on lock-down for about an hour while police cleared the area.

No plate number was able to obtained and Lt. Detective Klein said the investigation is ongoing while more witnesses are interviewed. New Kensington Police are asking for community help and if you know anything about this vehicle to please call New Kensington Police at (724) 339-7533 or Dial 911.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

AKVNEWS spoke with several residents on the street who expressed fear for letting their children play outside anymore do to all the shootings these past summer months. “It’s unsafe” said one passer-by who complained that no one has any more respect for life these days. It’s troubling these senseless criminals are putting everyone in fear. Fear to walk outside and have to constantly be wary of who’s driving by and whether we’re gonna get shot. “This has to stop” said one resident, simply has to stop.


Overnight police pursuit ends near New Kensington Bridge

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 11:19 am

SPRINGDALE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Local Law Enforcement Officers along with Pennsylvania State Police safely ended the pursuit of a motor vehicle 1/4 mile south of the New Kensington bridge overnight.

Tpr. Christopher Hoover of PSP Kittanning observed the suspect vehicle commit a traffic violation on SR. 28 SB at Exit 11 in Harmar Township. A traffic stop was initiated by Tpr. Hoover, however the suspect vehicle failed to stop and fled north of Freeport Road. The suspect, a 23-year-old black male from Arnold, fled back towards RIDC park and then onto SR. 28 Northbound. This incident began at approximately 3:30 am Sunday morning with Allegheny County 911 Dispatch notifying police departments in the path of the pursuit to take action and stop the fleeing vehicle being pursued by State Police.

The suspect vehicle then exited the expressway at exit 12A, Pittsburgh Mills. The pursuit continued as the vehicle made a right hand turn coming down Riddle Run Road and encountered two police units blocking the intersection at Old Route 28 Freeport Road. The suspect vehicle eluded both police units and made a left hand turn onto Freeport Road headed north towards the New Kensington bridge when a Springdale Boro Law Enforcement Officer performed a rolling roadblock in front of the suspect vehicle. The suspect attempted to pass the Springdale Patrol Officer on the left but hit the police car. With State Police still in pursuit, a pit maneuver was utilized by PSP which stopped the suspect vehicle approximately 1/4 mile from the New Kensington bridge.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

The Springdale Boro Officer was not injured and the suspect was taken into custody. The suspect was charged with Aggravated Assault, DUI, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer, and numerous traffic offenses. The suspect was taken to Allegheny Co. Jail to be arraigned.

At the scene: Multiple police units converged to the pursuit path and when the pursuit ended, the roadway was partially blocked for minor early morning traffic. Police had two actors detained at the scene while Troopers and Officers recreated the accident scene. East Deer EMS was summoned to the crash however treatment was refused.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Bochecks Towing Removed both vehicles from the crash scene.


New Kensington firefighters respond to small fire at Kensington Arms

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 9:40 am

NEW KENSINGTON, PA. – Firefighter were dispatched at 7:40 am Sunday morning for an automatic fire alarm at the New Kensington Arms apartment building. According to dispatch information, the fire was located on the second floor of the structure.

At the scene, firefighters removed a mattress from the second floor and carried it towards the back of the building. A firetruck was positioned on 5th Avenue where firefighters doused the smoldering mattress. The 2nd floor was ventilated for a short time and the cause is under investigation. Tenants were not evacuated from the structure. New Kensington EMS assisted at the scene.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


DUI suspected in overnight crash in Harrison Township

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:10 am

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Two people are injured in a single vehicle crash along Silverville Road near Acee Road in Harrison Township overnight.

Initial dispatch reports indicated one male to be unconscious-trapped and the other occupant with a foot injury.

The Ford pickup exited the roadway and traveled downhill in the front yard of a business striking a large ditch. Rescue crews from Citizen’s Hose used long backboards to carry two patients up the steep grade to Freeport and Citizen’s Hose EMS units.

Supervisor Jim Erb of Citizens Hose said he appreciated the quick mutual aid support at the scene from Freeport and Eureka EMS. Both patients were treated at the scene for transport to Allegheny Valley Hospital. Harrison Township Law Enforcement Officers Helgert, Burns, and Acre investigated the crash. Under suspicion of DUI, charges are pending lab results.

The truck was winched from the ditch by Terry’s Service. The incident occurred around 12:30 am.

In other overnight news: A single vehicle crash on Iron Bridge Road in Armstrong County.

Paving crews were busy overnight on 10th Street in Tarentum.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


Tarentum Festival features ventriloquist/magic show

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 11:26 am

TARENTUM, PA. – The Tarentum Recreation Board and the Summit Hose Fire company host the final day of fun-filled events with their annual Fall Festival in Tarentum Riverview Park.

With the weather cooperating and warm temperatures, kids can attend the festival to enjoy all the carnival rides and at 2:00 pm a ventriloquist/magic show put on by Dennis Bownam and Dan Kuniak.

The festival features great food, crafts, bingo and a 50/50 raffle. A pie contest begins today at 10:00 am with judging at 4:00 pm. By 7:00 pm this evening, an American Pie Concert with oldies from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s.

Tarentum’s Mayor Carl Magnetta said the crowds for the past two days of the festival have been pretty good, with the largest crowds coming for the band entertainment. A large crowd is expected for the final night said Mayor Magnetta, better get here early!

Craft booths and games of chance are all part of the Fall Festival. A 50/50 bingo is sponsored by Arnold VFD #1. The festival will close at 10:00.



Pennsylvania State Police give update on search operations for Eric Matthew Frein

Image Supplied Pennsylvania State Police

Image Supplied Pennsylvania State Police

Blooming Grove, Pa. – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) continue to investigate the shooting incident at the Blooming Grove station where two Pennsylvania State Police troopers were ambushed by Eric Matthew Frein.

State police continue to search the areas around the Pike/Monroe border.

“We are convinced that Eric Frein has been planning this attack for least a couple of years,” said Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations. “That information is supported by a search of a computer hard drive which Frein had access to – the search of the PC indicates extensive internet research on how to avoid police man hunts and skills related to survival.”

Consistent with those internet searches the state police continue to find items discarded or hidden by Frein. There is nothing in the investigation that indicates Frein has left the area.

“As I have mentioned several times before, our search area is very large and the terrain is dense and rugged,” said Bivens. “For example, recently our teams searched the vacant Inn at Buck Hill Falls — this property spans over 4,600 acres and more than 900,000 sq. ft. of multiple multi-level structures and underground tunnels.” “Every inch of this private vacant resort needed to be cleared.”

“We have mentioned before the numerous places Frein may be utilizing for shelter – specifically, the caves we have found during this investigation. All of these potential hiding places need to be cleared as well,” said Bivens.

“We are asking the public to contact the tip line at 866-326-7256 with any information that may be helpful to investigators – however, what is not helpful is perpetuating rumors,” said Bivens. “We are aware of a number of rumors – and I would like to address one of those rumors that have gained momentum because of inaccurate reports.” “Through many investigative techniques, the state police have found no evidence that there was an inappropriate relationship between Tpr. Douglass and Melissa Frein,” said Bivens. “We cannot assume to know what Eric Frien believes — however, we are convinced Tpr. Douglass and Melissa Frein did not have a personal relationship.”

“As you can imagine, this has been a stressful time for Tpr. Douglass and his family as well as the suspect’s family,” said Bivens. “Rumor and innuendo has no place in a law enforcement investigation.” “Let’s remember the reason we are all here – we need to find the assassin who murdered Cpl. Dickson and attempted to murder Tpr. Douglass,” said Bivens.

State police are asking people to use common sense. Please avoid going into the wooded areas in and around Barrett and Price townships, as well as the Delaware State Forest area. The state police continue to ask the public for any photos/videos previously taken from trail cameras in those areas and which may contain images of Frein or other suspicious activity.

“Finally, I want to again address Eric Frein directly,” said Bivens. “As I told you last week, you are a coward.” “Your actions have caused tremendous disruption for an innocent community, while you try to hide from us.” “We are not intimidated and we will not leave,” added Bivens. “We have a clear mission with specific objectives – protect the community, find you, and bring you to justice.”


State Police continue manhunt at abandoned resort

Frein, Eric Matthew
(Photo Supplied)

BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. – Multiple teams of searchers had been sent to an abandoned Hotel complex this morning at approximately 10:00 am. The resort, called the Buck Hill Inn was searched because Eric Frein has been known to visit the hotel when it was operational.

Pennsyvlania State Police had requested the press that was gathering at the Buck Hill Inn to immediately move from that location. State Police report there has been no sighting there or no one specific reason as to why it is being searched. Investigators and searchers indicated the gathering of media was hindering their movement. The Inn is private property and the PSP has permission to be there, the statement said.

Meida had been advised of a press conference today 09/26 at 3 pm. It will be dealing with the search operations, public safety issues and other search related topics. Lt. Col. George BIVENS, Deputy Commissioner of Operations, PSP will be speaking.

It will be held at the Blooming Grove Township Building at 488 Route 739 Blooming Grove PA 18428, the same location the Pennsylvania State Police have been holding previous conferences in the Blooming Grove area.


Pennsylvania State Police answer questions about manhunt for murder suspect/phone scam

(Supplied Image)

HARRISBURG, PA. – The Pennsylvania State police have been getting numerous questions pertaining to the ongoing search for Eric Frein.

How is the rain affecting the search? The rain has no impact on our searchers. As for Frein, it depends on his preparedness.

Another popular question has been how are the canines picking up a scent. They are, however the scent trail is being lost due to water crossings and terrain conditions.

The wooded/rugged area in the vicinity of the search is very difficult terrain to traverse. It provides many obstacles to the search — rocky outcrops, thick underbrush, dense canopy hindering aerial observation.

In addition to the wooded areas there are many homes with sheds, campers and other structures that pose a wide array of challenges to the search — we are urging the residents to make sure everything on their property is locked and secure.

Also, the manpower of the search has not been reduced. However, Troopers are moving on foot, visually checking homes for open doors, windows or signs of entry. Troopers are knocking on doors and talking with residents as well. The perimeter remains intact it is just now a moving perimeter both on foot and in vehicles.

We would like to point out again how important TIPS from residents can be. The TIP line is 1-866-326-7256, it is staffed at the Command Post in Pike County and all leads are forwarded to investigators.

ONGOING PHONE SCAM: It has come to our attention that residents of northeast Pennsylvania may be receiving phone calls from individuals looking to solicit money by claiming they represent the Pennsylvania State Police. The caller claims that the department is trying to raise money to continue the search efforts for Eric Frein. This phone call is a scam. The Pennsylvania State Police do not and will not solicit money from residents, so please do not provide any personal information or offer to send money to the caller if you are contacted.

State Police continue to intensify the search for Frein. Search dogs have been able to pick up sense, but the rain and crossing of creeks quickly terminates the trail. Police will not quit searching until Frein is captured, dead or alive. Police say Frein has been spotted multiple times by law enforcement. The second Trooper involved in the shooting incident continues to improve.