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24-hour watch ordered on man shot during chase

September 27, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County Sheriff's deputies will keep an around-the-clock guard on a Fannettsburg, Pa., man at Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center until he is recovered enough from the gunshot wound he received Sunday night to be jailed in Franklin County Prison.

Judge John Walker on Tuesday signed the order to guard Chris Alan Neil, 38, who was taken to Hershey after Pennsylvania State Police took him into custody Monday afternoon at a woman's home on Mormon Church Road in Quincy Township. Police spokeswoman Trooper Jackie Capriotti in Harrisburg, Pa., said Tuesday that Neil sustained a gunshot wound to the arm Sunday while being pursued by Trooper Scott Roussell.

Neil has been charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault and one count each of recklessly endangering another person and fleeing or attempting to elude police in the chase and shooting that began shortly before 10 p.m. when Roussell pulled over two vehicles for speeding on Pa. 997 near Tomstown Road.

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Neil allegedly gave Roussell a false name and, while the trooper was talking to the driver of the other vehicle, sped away. Roussell followed and Neil stopped and backed his car into the police cruiser at least once before driving into a yard on Mormon Church Road and fleeing on foot, police said.

During the foot chase, shots were fired, although police have not released details of the incident, including whether Neil fired any shots. A handgun was recovered during the manhunt for Neil, police said.

The two aggravated assault charges against Neil specifically mentioned his alleged use of a car to ram the police cruiser.

Roussell was placed on administrative duties pending an administrative investigation of the shooting. Spokeswoman Trooper Linette Quinn said investigations by the state police Bureau of Integrity and Professional Standards are conducted anytime a weapon is fired by an officer.

Roussell can return to regular duties when he is deemed mentally and physically ready by the state police Members Assistance Program, Quinn said.

Franklin County District Attorney John F. Nelson said his office is also probing the shooting.

"We began discussions along those lines today and I'm awaiting additional information. I don't anticipate it will take a long time," Nelson said. That information, he said, includes the cruiser video of the traffic stop and chase.

Sheriff Robert Wollyung said guarding Neil 24 hours a day will require three deputies on eight-hour shifts. He has 13 full-time deputies, but two are in training.

"We're hoping to hear back that the operation he needed this afternoon is all he needs so we can bring him back," Wollyung said Tuesday. While Neil might be ready to travel today, Wollyung said he has plans to have deputies available for several days, if necessary.

Neil is in custody on $500,000 bail set Monday by Magisterial District Judge Richard Alloway and has a preliminary hearing date of Oct. 3.

At the time he was pulled over, Neil had an outstanding bench warrant from March 15 for failing to appear at a probation violation hearing, a sheriff's deputy said. Cumberland County also had warrants for failing to appear in court on a simple assault charge and for not paying child support, the deputy said.

Neil served a state prison sentence for a 1999 aggravated assault conviction and three months in the county jail in 2005 for violating probation on receiving stolen property and disorderly conduct convictions in 2004.

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