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Police capture suspect in abduction of HACC student - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Police capture suspect in abduction of HACC student

Posted: Updated:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Police have captured a man suspected in the abduction of a Harrisburg Area Community College student.

Clarence Shaffer, 52, was taken into custody in Highspire following a police chase just before 2 p.m.

Harrisburg police earlier in the day spent nearly two hours searching for Shaffer on HACC's main campus, which was closed in the morning as a safety precaution.

As the search winded down, a police source told abc27 News that Shaffer was believed to be driving a black 2013 Chevrolet Suburban. The SUV was recovered following the chase.

Harrisburg police in the morning had identified Shaffer, of no fixed address, as their suspect in the crime.

He is accused of abducting an 18-year-old suburban Harrisburg woman Monday morning from the West parking lot of HACC's main campus along Industrial Drive.

The woman told police that a stranger opened her car door and forced her into the passenger seat of her car, then drove her at gunpoint to the Enola area.

He then pulled into a parking lot where the Conodoguinet Creek meets the Susquehanna River, forced the woman to walk to a wooded area, and tried to sexually assault her, police said.

The victim said she was able to run when the attacker put down his gun, police said. She went to a nearby home for help and was not harmed, police said.

The abductor took the woman's car back to the parking lot at HACC and left it there, police said.

Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed said Shaffer was sentenced to 4-14 years in prison in 1999 after pleading no contest to unlawful restraint and aggravated indecent assault for a similar incident in East Pennsboro Township in 1995.

Shaffer was released from state prison on November 28, five days before the abduction at HACC, Freed said.

He is registered as a lifetime offender under Pennsylvania's Megan's Law.

Classes at the college are expected to resume on Wednesday.

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