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Search For Fugitive Christy Continues In Ohio

September 18, 2018

Search For Fugitive Christy Continues In Ohio

The search for a wanted fugitive from McAdoo continued Monday in Ohio. Law enforcement officials say they found a stolen vehicle they suspect Shawn Christy, 26, took from a Hazle Twp. business early Sunday morning, crashed on a stretch of Ohio interstate later that afternoon. This marks the sixth state the search for Christy crossed into. The wrecked utility truck police believe was commandeered by Christy was found on a grassy area along Interstate 71, beached within eyesight of the road, near the edge of a cornfield around 4:45 p.m. Sunday. The Mansfield News Journal reported that schools closed Monday while the search was ongoing as a safety precaution and a student protest at a Madison Twp. high school was rescheduled for the same reason. WMFD.com reported that multiple helicopters, a fixed-wing airplane and drones were used in the search. Deputy Robert Clark, supervisor of the U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force, said Sunday night that people in the Ohio search area were told to keep buildings and vehicles locked. The same precautions were advised to people in other communities where the search for Christy was undertaken. Clark said Christy is a suspect in the theft of a white 2002 GMC Sierra 2500 heavy duty truck from Skitco Iron Works, 1478 S. Church St. (Route 309), around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. The vehicle was later abandoned by the driver after a one-vehicle wreck on I-71 in Mansfield around 4:45 p.m. near mile marker 171. Another motorist reported the truck abruptly ran off the road before crashing, Clark said. Law enforcement believes Christy was driving it. The Mansfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to the crash initially. Interstate 71 was temporarily shut down Sunday afternoon as law enforcement searched for the suspect, the Mansfield News Journal reported. That newspaper also reported that a passerby called police upon spotting the disabled truck off the road and the driver fleeing on foot. Mansfield is a city in Richland County. It’s about 65 miles northeast of Columbus and about 65 miles southwest of Cleveland. Mansfield is about 385 miles west of Hazleton. The 2010 U.S. Census showed a population of 47,821. According to the town website, it has an airport, four I-71 interchanges, eight major highways and two rail carriers. It’s also within 500 miles of 42 major cities. Bestplaces.net states it’s a mid-sized industrial town in north-central Ohio with a low cost of living and low violent crime rate, surrounded by rolling, open farmland with Lake Erie about 38 miles north and the Appalachian foothills to the east. Interstate 71 is a north-south road that begins east of Louisville, Kentucky, and ends at Interstate 90 on the Innerbelt in northern Ohio. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service and the Marshals Service have locally searched for Christy in wooded areas in Rush Twp., McAdoo and Kline Twp., all in Schuylkill County; at the southern tip of Luzerne County in Hazle Twp., and in parts of Banks Twp., Carbon County, near the Schuylkill County line. The search, which also crossed multiple state lines, is closing in on three months. It began June 19 when marshals said a warrant was issued for Christy by U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre. He’s wanted for allegedly threatening the Northampton County district attorney, law enforcement and President Donald Trump. An early June Facebook post on Christy’s account read, “Keep it up Morganelli, I promise I’ll put a bullet in your head as soon as I put one in the head of President Donald J. Trump.” Christy was charged with interstate communication of threats and threats against the President of the United States. He is also wanted for other violations in Pennsylvania, along with some crimes he’s suspected of committing while on the run. A $20,000 reward remains for information that leads to his arrest. Christy has threatened to use “full lethal force on any law enforcement officer that tries to detain me.” Marshals ask anyone with information to call 911 or the U.S. Marshals direct at 877-WANTED-2 (877-926-8332). Christy is white, stands 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He has a tattoo of a cross on his right upper arm, short dark blonde hair and a beard. Christy also speaks with a noticeable lisp and claims to be a survivalist. On the run State police at Hazleton say he broke into Hazleton Oil and Environmental in Audenried, Banks Twp., 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 began heading south. That vehicle overheated and was found abandoned on Interstate 81 in the Scranton area. A man resembling Christy then broke into the Scranton School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Lackawanna County that weekend and once that discovery was made law enforcement conducted a search for him there 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 pictured 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, which were taken at about 4:50 a.m. 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, a Medal of Honor recipient for saving military personnel in Afghanistan in 2009, is the former son-in-law of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Christy got in trouble with the law in 2010 after Palin took out a restraining order against him. 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. early in the morning of 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. The intruder was wearing blue jeans, an olive drab “military-style” T-shirt and a red baseball hat, and had a thick, bushy beard. 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., 6 Banks Ave., 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, just outside of McAdoo borough limits. Skitco was broken into a second time. Sunday, state troopers reported the white utility vehicle bearing the company’s name was taken from the business around midnight. Numerous other sightings of Christy or men resembling him were reported to law enforcement throughout the region since the search began but none have resulted in his arrest. Contact the writer: achristman@standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3584

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