Subject of manhunt remains at large Fugitive, a NYC native, has a criminal record
MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP - Authorities reported Arthur Mickel, who remains a fugitive following an unsuccessful manhunt that began early Wednesday evening, has an extensive criminal record and is a native of New York City. The manhunt began after Mickel allegedly assaulted a woman in front of a cigarette store in Atlas and then fled into Weiser State Forest in the Bear Gap area.
Mount Carmel Township police said Mickel, who is wanted on a felony warrant for the crimes he committed Wednesday, is also the subject of warrants issued by other area police departments.
The 46-year-old Mickel, who resides at 317 E. Columbia Ave., Atlas, with his 25-year-old girlfriend, Becky Lee Donner, lived in Danville prior to moving to Atlas. He also may have lived in Catawissa recently, police said.
The New York native, who has served time in prison for criminal offenses, is wanted on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangering another person, resisting arrest, flight to avoid apprehension and various summary offenses filed by Mount Carmel Township Patrolman Kelly Campbell.
Police identified Mickel when they found his name on prescription medication in a red Mercury Sable. The car was observed by Northumberland County Public Safety Director Paul Froutz traveling more than 100 miles per hour before crashing into the Weiser State Forest sign off Route 54 in the Bear Gap area following the assault at the Choice Discount Cigarette Outlet. Mickel was wearing a black tank top, jeans and sneakers. He is five feet, six inches tall.
Anyone with information regarding Mickel's whereabouts is urged to call Mount Carmel Township police at 339-1653.
Donner, who was driving the car containing Mickel and John Gilbert, 42, of 458 Columbia Ave., Atlas, has been charged by Campbell with criminal conspiracy to commit simple assault. Mickel was a front-seat passenger, while Gilbert was sitting in the back seat.
Campbell also has charged Gilbert with resisting arrest and criminal conspiracy to commit simple assault.
Police said Gilbert refused all verbal commands by police, prompting officers to use force to subdue him.
Donner was arraigned Thursday morning by Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones and released on $10,000 unsecured bail. Gilbert was committed to Northumberland County Prison in Sunbury Wednesday night on a bench warrant for his arrest for failing to appear at a court proceeding in Northumberland County.
According to Mount Carmel Township Police Chief Brian Hollenbush, Mickel allegedly assaulted Mary Irving, of Mount Carmel, at Choice Cigarette Discount Outlet at approximately 5:15 p.m. He reportedly exited a vehicle, grabbed her, lifted her off her feet and body-slammed her to the ground, causing serious injury that required emergency medical personnel to transport her to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
Irving underwent emergency room treatment at Geisinger before being released.
Upon arriving at the scene, Campbell said he saw Irving lying on the ground near the berm of the road that is heavily traveled. Campbell said Irving was bleeding from the back of the head.
Campbell said he was informed that neither Donner nor Gilbert attempted to exit the vehicle to prevent Mickel from assaulting Irving.
Police said Gilbert is believed to be romantically involved with Irving and has a history of domestic issues with her.
After the accident in which the Sable came to rest in a wooded area, Mickel exited the car and fled on foot into the 9,000 square foot forest in an easterly direction.
Locust Township police checked the residence of Mickel's brother, who said he had not heard from him. Police were overheard saying the brother left the residence shortly after, but further questioning of the brother's wife revealed no additional information.
At least 20 officers from Mount Carmel Township, Ralpho Township, Mount Carmel, Kulpmont and Coal Township were dispatched to the area to search for Mickel.
A state police helicopter and an all-terrain vehicle from Mount Carmel Township Police Department also were used in the manhunt.
In addition to the local police departments and Northumberland County Department of Public Safety personnel, Locust Township police, Northumberland County Sheriff's Department K-9 Unit, state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, state parole agents, county probation officers two AREA Services units and Americus Hose Special Response Unit assisted in the investigation.
The search was called off at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.
At 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, police received permission from Donner to search 317 E. Columbia Ave., Atlas, where they found a pair of sneakers, a T-shirt and jeans in Mickel's bedroom that matched the description of clothing worn by Mickel. Police said the clothing was wet and muddy.