Maryland bank robbery suspect charged with fleeing police in Somerset
State police in Somerset have filed charges against a Maryland bank robbery suspect, who remains at large.
Charles Gibson Jr., 57, Ridge Point Circle, Bridgeville, was charged Thursday with recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and fleeing or attempting to elude police.
Gibson allegedly robbed two banks in Garrett County, Maryland, on Dec. 13 and fled in a blue Kia Forte. Later that morning, state police in Somerset saw a vehicle matching that description traveling north on Route 219 near Berlin Plank Road. Police followed the vehicle, which left the roadway at the Friedens exit.
The motorist ran a red light at North Pleasant Avenue and pulled into the parking lot of Jenny Products when police attempted a traffic stop.
“Upon approaching the vehicle, the defendant sped off and accelerated around the rear of the building,” police wrote in a probable-cause affidavit.
Police pursed the vehicle around the rear of Jenny Products, where the driver stopped because he was blocked in by the loading docks and fence. Police yelled at him to stop as he left his vehicle, carrying multiple items and a black bag, according to the affidavit.
Trooper Jared Bruno chased the motorist on foot, following him down a rock embankment, through a swamp and across four lanes of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The pursuit continued down the opposite embankment and through another swamp, where the trooper lost him as he entered a residential area, according to the affidavit.
During the pursuit, Gibson shed most of his clothing, which matched the clothing in the surveillance video from the Maryland banks. Police said he was believed to be armed and dangerous at the time.
“His actions put many lives at risk of serious bodily injury or death,” police wrote.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:50 a.m. Feb. 19 before District Judge Ken Johnson in Somerset.
Gibson is not incarcerated in the county, according to state police. He was reported to have been in Ohio after he fled from the area. State police sent the charges via summons to Gibson’s home address. If he does not attend the hearing, a warrant for his arrest will likely be issued, according to police.
Gibson is facing two counts of robbery, robbery with a dangerous weapon and theft of less than $1,000 in Garrett County, according to the Maryland State Police.