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Man shot by trooper faces more charges

October 04, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A man shot by a Pennsylvania State Police trooper last week was released Monday from Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center and faced new charges Tuesday.

Franklin County District Attorney John F. Nelson has determined that the trooper's actions were justified.

Christopher Alan Neil, 38, of Fannettsburg, Pa., was in the hospital guarded by Franklin County Sheriff's deputies since Monday, Sept. 25, when he was taken into custody at a house on Mormon Church Road in Quincy Township.

Neil was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court, but it was continued for two weeks to amend the charges against him, state police Cpl. Gary Carter said. Additional charges of carrying a firearm without a license, simple assault, driving under the influence and providing false identification to law enforcement were added to the original criminal complaint, Carter said.

Neil was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding police, and recklessly endangering another person in the incident, which began Sept. 24 with a traffic stop on Pa. 997 near Tomstown Road, police said.

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Trooper Scott Roussell pulled over two vehicles for speeding and the driver of one vehicle told Roussell his name was Smith, but that he had no identification, police said. While Roussell was speaking to the woman driving the other vehicle, the man sped off and Roussell gave chase, police said.

At one point, the man stopped his vehicle, backed up and rammed Roussell's cruiser, police said. He attempted to do so other times before losing control and running the car into a yard.

The man then fled on foot, at which times shots were fired, police said. Neil, who was shot in the arm, was found the next day in the home of the woman who had been stopped with him for speeding the night before, Carter said.

Nelson said Tuesday he had interviewed Carter and Roussell and watched the video tape from a camera in the police cruiser.

"The video and audio were consistent with what Trooper Roussell told me," Nelson said Tuesday. The shooting itself was not recorded on video, Nelson said, because the collision between the cruiser and the car knocked the camera askew, he said.

Roussell saw the man pull a weapon, at which point the trooper fired, Nelson said of his review of the incident.

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