AP NEWS

Christy Captured In Ohio

September 22, 2018
1 of 2

Christy Captured In Ohio

Shawn Christy’s roughly three-month run from law enforcement ended Friday afternoon when federal officials and police found him hiding in a wooded area in the northern Ohio community of Mifflin Twp.

He was found with a knife and .380 handgun shortly after 4:30 p.m. hiding among rocks on a stream bed, U.S. Marshals said in a news release.

Photos released Friday by the marshals show law enforcement — some clad in camouflage — walking Christy out of a wooded area.

Authorities said he will be taken to a hospital in Ohio for examination and held in custody, pending extradition to Pennsylvania.

Christy is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate in the Northern District of Ohio on Monday.

 

The 26-year-old McAdoo resident was wanted on a federal warrant issued June 19 for online threats he allegedly made to Northampton County’s district attorney and President Donald Trump, marshals said.

Christy attempted to flee from law enforcement on multiple occasions during the search that extended from about 1 p.m. to 4:38 p.m. Friday, marshals said during a news conference held later in the day in Ohio.

Police dogs picked up his scent during a search that lasted for about 3½ hours.

Authorities also said they will be investigating “camps” and “shelters” that Christy might have been using.

The firearm they recovered from Christy will be processed by the FBI, marshals said.

“He is going to be facing further charges on that firearm,” said Brian Fitzgibbon of the U.S. Marshals Service during the news conference.

He was apprehended following a search that spanned Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland and Ohio.

“We are most pleased that this case is resolved with Mr. Christy safely in custody and headed back to Pennsylvania to face justice,” U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio Pete Elliott said in a news release. “While he may have exhibited a strong determination to avoid capture, I hope he now understands that the U.S. Marshals fugitive task forces are resolute and will not stop until they get their man.”

Nearly 100 law enforcement officers from local agencies in northern Ohio have been searching the Mansfield, Ohio, are since Monday.

Authorities believe Christy stole a pickup truck from Skitco Iron Works in Hazle Twp. on Sunday and that he crashed that vehicle near the Interstate 71 and Ohio Route 13 interchange near Mansfield that night.

Christy was collared a day after the U.S. Marshals issued a denial in response to a social media post in which his father, Craig, claimed that Ohio State Police were ordered to “shoot to kill” his son.

“No law enforcement agency involved in the search has been given or would ever give such an order,” the statement reads.

The elder Christy has reportedly asked his son to turn himself in.

Time line

State police at Hazleton said Christy broke into Hazleton Oil and Environmental in Audenried, Banks Township, on July 7. Troopers filed charges against him in that case.

A pickup truck reported stolen from there was found abandoned in New York near the Canadian border the following day.

Marshals believe Christy stole another vehicle in New York and traveled south until it overheated and was abandoned on Interstate 81 near Scranton.

A man resembling Christy then broke into the Scranton School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Lackawanna County. Police searched for him there on July 17.

Butler Twp. police said he broke into a relative’s home on July 25, taking supplies and guns. Four days later, a man resembling Christy was seen on video surveillance at Rohrer Bus Co., on Route 309 in Butler Twp., where a school bus van was reported stolen.

Surveillance pictures obtained by the FBI in Pittsburgh and captured July 30 at Sheetz in Wexford, Allegheny County, appear to show Christy at a sales counter.

The Rohrer van was found abandoned in Nitro, West Virginia, on Aug. 2. Authorities suspect Christy in the theft of a 2012 Toyota Tundra near Poca, West Virginia, that they believe he later abandoned.

He was spotted on video surveillance Aug. 9 at the home of Dakota Meyer, a decorated Marine, in Greensburg, Kentucky. Food reportedly was stolen along with a green 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a black hood and markings for “US Postal Service” and “Rural Carrier.” Meyer is the former son-in-law of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Christy is suspected of stealing another vehicle on Aug. 19 in Allegheny County, Maryland. The 1997 GMC Sierra pickup truck was found abandoned in Rush Twp. on Aug. 21.

A man matching Christy’s description broke into a home on Ben Titus Road near the Still Creek Tavern in Packer Twp., Carbon County, on Aug. 23. When confronted by the property owner, he told the man he was homeless and searching for food.

Then on Aug. 24 around 10 p.m., Rush Twp. police said surveillance video showed Christy breaking into Skipper Dippers, an ice cream shop and restaurant, helping himself to food and other provisions. Days later an employee of the business reported seeing a man resembling Christy at its dumpster at 8:45 p.m.

Authorities believe Christy took cash, food, a shotgun and a box of ammunition from Skitco Iron Works on Sept. 5.

State police at Hazleton said an unidentified man entered an unlocked office at Haulmark Industries Inc., Banks Twp., on Sept. 13 between 9 and 10:30 p.m., taking $20 and a black skullcap. The intruder also smashed the glass on a vending machine, which he stole several candy bars from before fleeing on foot. Marshals wouldn’t confirm the thief was Christy. The business is in the McAdoo Industrial Park.

Skitco was broken into a second time and a pickup truck was taken during the early morning hours of Sept. 16. That vehicle was found crashed near Mansfield, Ohio, on Sunday.

Law enforcement in Mansfield closed schools on Monday and Tuesday as they searched for Christy.

A day later, bounty hunter and television personality Duane “Dog” Chapman reportedly said he’d be joining the search.

Christy’s parents could not be reached by phone Friday. His mother did not respond to questions that were sent Friday to her email address.

Contact the writer:

sgalski@standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3586

 

SHAWN CHRISTY NO STRANGER TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

2010

■ Sept. 27: A temporary, 20-day protection from abuse order is filed in district court in Anchorage, Alaska, against Shawn R. Christy, 18, of McAdoo, alleging that he stalked and threatened former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and her friend, Kristan Cole, via phone and email since the summer of 2009. The issue came before the court once Palin and Cole believed Christy was in Alaska and intended to harm them.

■ Oct. 11: A judge in Anchorage grants a six-month protection from abuse order. It prohibits Christy from being within one mile of Palin or Cole and their families, and from several locations in Alaska.

■ Dec. 29: Christy files a motion in an Alaska court requesting to have the protection from abuse order revoked or dissolved. A similar request filed Dec. 6 was denied Dec. 21.

 

2011

■ May 5: An Alaska court extends a restraining order against Christy for six more months after Palin testifies by phone that she feared for the safety of herself, her family and friends. Palin said she believed Christy was sending out a clear signal when he made a one-day visit to Alaska on her birthday in February. She also said she feared Christy’s parents because of their contention that she had a sexting relationship with their son in 2009.

■ Aug. 18: Christy and his father, Craig Christy, are arrested in Allentown on federal charges for allegedly making hundreds of harassing phone calls to the offices of Palin’s attorney.

 

2012

■ Jan. 23: Shawn Christy and his father, Craig, plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Anchorage to one count each of making harassing telephone calls to Palin’s attorneys.

■ June 8: Shawn and Craig Christy are sentenced to time served plus five years’ probation for harassing Palin’s attorneys. During the court proceeding, Shawn Christy called the judge’s order that he live up to six months in a Pennsylvania community re-entry program “ridiculous.”

■ Nov. 28: Christy is taken into custody at his McAdoo home by U.S. Marshals on a charge of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers and prisoners in custody of an institution or officer. He is accused of verbally abusing a worker at the Scranton Catholic Charity Center eight days earlier after a search of his backpack uncovered contraband, a soda and a cellphone. He then allegedly ran into his room, kicked a hole in the wall and left without permission. Christy’s father said he left the halfway house after receiving more than 300 bedbug bites.

 

2013

■ March 20: Christy is sentenced to two years in prison for violating his probation in November 2012.

 

2015

■ June 29: Christy is taken into custody on a parole violation after he is accused of harassing a teacher and an administrator at McCann School of Business and Technology in Hazle Twp., where he was a student.

■ July 1: Christy pleads guilty in U.S. District Court, Williamsport, to violating parole and is sentenced to nine months in prison.

■ Sept. 20: Christy pleads guilty to two summary counts of harassment and is ordered to 10 days incarceration, to be served concurrently with his federal prison term for a parole violation.

 

2017

■ March 15: Christy is charged with four felony counts of aggravated assault and two misdemeanors for simple assault after police say he swung a “large” stick at McAdoo Mayor Stephan Holly following an argument about snow removal.

■ Oct. 20: Christy and his father are charged with harassment for numerous telephone calls to McAdoo and Kline Twp. police regarding the assault case pending against Shawn Christy.

 

2018

■ June 20: U.S. Marshals begin a search for Christy for making threats against President Donald Trump and other government officials via social media. Authorities say Christy threatened to “put a bullet” in Trump’s head.

■ July 10: Christy is indicted by a federal grand jury for threatening Trump and police in social media posts between June 3 and 12. Locally, he is charged with burglary by state police for allegedly stealing a vehicle from his former employer, Hazleton Oil and Environmental in Audenried on July 7. The vehicle was found July 8 in Constable, New York, about 100 yards from the Canadian border. Marshals said he then stole a vehicle in Convington, New York, about 10 miles away from Constable and abandoned it after it overheated on Interstate 81.

■ July 17: Federal, state and local law enforcement search woods behind the Scranton School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children in Clarks Green, Lackawanna County, after video surveillance from four days earlier shows someone who “strongly resembles” Christy breaking into the school and stealing food. He was not found.

■ July 25: Christy is accused of breaking into his uncle’s home in Butler Twp., allegedly taking weapons and leaving notes for his mother.

■ July 29: Christy reportedly steals a van from a school bus company in Butler Twp. Surveillance footage from a Sheetz in Allegheny County the next morning show Shawn Christy at the sales counter.

■ Aug. 2: Authorities find the stolen school van in Nitro, West Virginia, about 460 miles from Butler Twp. Later in the day, a vehicle is stolen in Poca, West Virginia, with Christy as the suspect in that crime. That vehicle is later found in Greensburg, Kentucky.

■ Aug. 9: The saga of Shawn Christy again overlaps with Sarah Palin. He is seen on surveillance video breaking into a home of Palin’s former son-in-law in Greensburg, Kentucky. Christy is suspected of stealing a 2001 Jeep with U.S. Postal Service markings from there. The Jeep would later be found in Nitro, West Virginia.

■ Aug. 19: The Allegheny County (Maryland) Sheriff’s Office fields a call from a resident about a suspicious man in a tan shirt and blue jeans, sleeping in a vehicle. He fled and was unable to be located, but marshals responded and positively identify the sleeping man as Christy.

■ Aug. 20: A business owner in Cumberland, Maryland, reports a 1997 GMC Sierra pickup truck with a Pennsylvania license plate was stolen. Christy is considered a suspect in that vehicle theft.

■ Aug. 21: The truck reported stolen in Maryland is found in Tidewood East Industrial Park in Hometown, Rush Twp., around 7:30 a.m.

■ Aug. 23: A man fitting the description of Shawn Christy breaks into a home on Ben Titus Road in Packer Twp., Carbon County. The man fled the home and went into a wooded area. The burglary victim told police that the man told him he was homeless and was looking for food, police said.

■ Aug. 24: Shawn Christy is identified as the man who broke into Skipper Dippers, Rush Twp. The break-in is captured on video surveillance at the restaurant. Christy pushed in an air conditioning unit in a window to get inside, helped himself to a variety of food and took off.

■ Aug. 29: Law enforcement searches the area of Skipper Dippers in Rush Twp. again after an employee reported seeing Shawn Christy around the business’ dumpster. The individual ran off when spotted, and authorities could not confirm the man was Christy.

■ Sept. 5: An early morning burglary was determined to be committed by Shawn Christy. Authorities believe Christy took about $300, food such as cookies and chips, a Beretta shotgun and a box of ammunition containing about 100 shells, and small tools from Skitco Iron Works, Hazle Twp.

■ Sept. 13: An unidentified man entered an unlocked office at Haulmark Industries Inc., Banks Twp. The man, not immediately confirmed as Christy, took $20, a black skull cap and also smashed the glass on a vending machine, which he stole several candy bars from before fleeing on foot.

■ Sept. 14: Reports surface that Shawn Christy may have injured his knee during his flight. “I think I shattered my knee during a MD (Maryland) getaway, so I’ve been slowed down a bit,” he said in the message posted on Facebook. “Stay safe, I have a mission to complete.” The injury may have occurred in mid-August.

■ Sept. 16: A vehicle stolen from a Hazle Twp. business crashed on an Ohio road. A white GMC heavy-duty utility truck involved in the one-vehicle wreck was stolen from Skitco Iron Works around 12:30 a.m. By 4:45 p.m., it went off Interstate 71 in Mansfield, Ohio. Law enforcement officials confirmed the vehicle was the one stolen from Skitco and believe Christy was driving it.

■ Sept. 17: Schools in the Mansfield, Ohio, area close due to the search for Christy.

■ Sept. 18: Mansfield, Ohio, schools close again while authorities search for Shawn Christy.

■ Sept. 19: Bounty hunter and television personality Duane “Dog” Chapman is reportedly retained by a friend of the Christy family to find the fugitive and get him to surrender.

■ Sept. 21: Shawn Christy is captured shortly after 4:30 p.m. in a densely wooded area in Mifflin Twp., Richland County, Ohio. U.S. Marshals say he had a knife and a .380 handgun in his possession. Christy is taken to a local hospital for examination, then will be held in Ohio on a number of arrest warrants.

■ Sept. 24: Christy is scheduled for an initial court appearance before a U.S. Federal District Magistrate in the Northern District of Ohio.

AP RADIO
Update hourly