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Police, man in standoff

April 14, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Maryland and Pennsylvania police were in a standoff Saturday night with a man who allegedly forced his way into a van at gunpoint just outside of Hancock and then drove about 30 miles to Fulton County, Pa., with a possible kidnap victim.

The standoff in a wooded area was continuing as of 10 p.m. Saturday just below McConnellsburg, Pa., in Fulton County, Cpl. T.J. McKenrick of the Maryland State Police in Hagerstown said.

David Hoover, president of the McConnellsburg Fire Department, said the man was holed up in a mountainous area at the top of Pa. 16, near the Fulton and Franklin county lines. That's about 31/2 miles outside of McConnellsburg, he said.

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The fire department sent two trucks and an ambulance to the scene to provide lighting and emergency care if needed, Hoover said.

The standoff began after the man carjacked the vehicle at the Park-N-Ride off East Main Street in Hancock, Hancock Police Officer T.J. Buskirk said.

McKenrick said the man used a gun to force a male driver out of the Chevrolet van before taking off with a female, whom police believe was kidnapped.

The incident began at 4:47 p.m., McKenrick said. About two hours later, police located the abandoned vehicle and tracked the suspect to a wooded area.

McKenrick said he did not have any other details of the standoff, because the incident was ongoing.

"I know they're talking to the guy. That's about it," said Cpl. John Lawler of the Pennsylvania State Police in McConnellsburg.

Lawler said Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg were assisting. State police in Chambersburg said they had no details as of Saturday night.

Hancock Councilman Darwin Mills said the Park-N-Ride area wasn't a known trouble spot in town.

The parking lot is across the street from the American Legion in Hancock.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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