2 jailed after search
ELYSBURG - A 2 1/2-hour police search for a man who fled from officers through the village Thursday ended with him and his girlfriend in custody of the Ralpho Township Police Department.
Township Chief Stu Appel said the incident started at 4:02 p.m. when township Patrolman Christopher Grow pulled over Justin W. Cressinger, 24, of the rear of 1120 W. Front St., Apt. 3, Berwick, on Route 54 near Southview Drive for not having a license plate on the motorcycle he was riding.
Cressinger allegedly provided false identification, but when Grow was attempting to
arrest him, Cressinger allegedly pushed Grow away and fled the scene on foot, Appel said.
Dozens of officers from Northumberland, Columbia and Montour counties provided assistance to Ralpho Township Police Department in the search for Cressinger, including Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel Township, Kulpmont, Shamokin, Coal Township, Locust Township, Riverside, Danville and Mahoning Township police departments; Northumberland County Adult Probation, Constable Patrick Reynolds, Montour County Sheriff with canine, state police at Stonington and state police helicopter out of Reading.
Police were seen along Main Street, Center Street and Circle View Drive and at the All Home Days grounds during daylight hours. Once the sun set, police were seen in Circle View Drive again with floodlights.
At approximately 5 p.m., at least eight police vehicles were seen at 438 N. Market St., Elysburg, which is a residence as well as a motorcycle and ATV repair business.
Officers were talking to two women on the front porch, and a young woman was seen in the back of a Kulpmont cruiser.
Police said Cressinger's girlfriend, Brittney Anecki, 19, of 438 N. Market St., was charged with punching Grow when he arrived at the house. She was subdued and placed in custody.
At approximately 5:35 p.m., the units gathered at the township police station and the search was called off for the evening. However, at 6:25 p.m., police were informed that Cressinger might be at 438 N. Market St.
The house was searched and Cressinger was found hiding in the attic, at which time he was taken into custody without further incident, police said.
An officer was overheard later saying Cressinger hid himself in a pile of clothing.
Appel said Thursday night after Cressinger and Anecki were taken into custody that he couldn't say why they acted as they did.
"I wish we knew. The only thing we could find is that he failed to appear for a bench warrant in Columbia County," he said.
Cressinger had no weapons or any other suspicious items on him when police found him later in the attic, and there was no reason to believe he was armed or dangerous while he was on the run, Appel said.
The chief also praised the hard work of all law enforcement involved.
"The number of police, and to get aviation here that quickly, was remarkable," he said. "I really want to commend them all. It was a truly tremendous response."
No officers were injured during the incident, and no shots were fired, Appel said.
Both Cressinger and Anecki were expected to be video arraigned late Thursday night by an on-call district magistrate judge. Charges and bail amounts were not available at press time.