Suspect in tractor-trailer police chase in Berks County arrested after manhunt

Watch report from Action News
November 15, 2013 3:54:31 PM PST
The robbery suspect who led police on a chase in Berks County Thursday was hospitalized in police custody Friday morning after being captured.

56-year-old Harold Augustus Davis, Jr. was arrested at 7:30 a.m. Friday in Caernarvon Township after an intensive manhunt.

Pennsylvania State Police have released new details of the events leading up to his capture.

Police say a member of the Chestnut Hill Archery Club on Quarry Road in New Morgan Borough arrived at the club at 7:00 a.m. Friday and found a pillow on the bathroom floor.

The member left and called 911.

A Caernarvon Township police officer arrived, determined someone had broken in and searched the building. He turned up nothing and left.

Police say as the officer drove back on Quarry Road toward Route 10 he saw a man's head pop up from the brush and recognized him as Davis.

The officer gave chase on foot and apprehended the suspect without incident.

Police say Davis then complained of chest pains. He was taken to Reading Hospital to be evaluated.

After his release, police say he will be taken to the state police barracks in Reading to be booked. He now faces aggravated assault charges stemming from Thursday's slow speed police chase.

Davis, who has addresses both in Fayetteville, North Carolina and Philadelphia, is wanted on robbery charges in Florida.

That fact came to the attention of authorities at a routine truck stop Thursday. That's when police say Davis fled and a chase ensued.

Video sent in to Action News Thursday by viewer Scott Cannariato of West Chester shows the truck driver fleeing from police and refusing to stop Thursday morning.

Cannariato, who narrates the slow speed chase in the video, can hear gunshots.

"And I didn't know where they were coming from. I was scared, but I kept rolling," Cannariato told Action News.

Not knowing if the bullets were flying in his direction, Cannariato kept forging forward. That's when he noticed a state trooper hanging onto the side of the suspect's truck.

"At this point, it's continuing up on the road. The trooper starts shooting at the tire. The trooper who is hanging off the truck is shooting at the tires," Trooper Dave Beohm said.

"We were doing 30-40 miles an hour and he was hanging on the truck. I couldn't believe what I saw," Cannariato said.

The trooper managed to shoot one of the suspect's tires out causing the vehicle to crash on the side of the road.

The pursuit came to an end shortly before 10:30 a.m. in the area of mile marker four on Interstate 176, about two miles north of Morgantown.

"[Davis] takes off. He doesn't want anything to do with us," Beohm said.

A massive manhunt was called with scores of heavily armed officer all over the wooded area of Berks County.

State police say they managed to reach the suspect through his cell phone. Davis told them he wanted to surrender, however, that proved to be a ruse.

Interstate 176 was closed to traffic throughout the day because of the large number of emergency vehicles on the scene.

No injuries were reported during the chase.


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