PERRY COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– Pennsylvania State Police have taken a man into custody who they say is a suspect involved with setting fires along a hiking trail. Police found him in a wooded area off of I-81 on the West Shore Friday morning.
There was a large police presence in Duncannon on Thursday night as police searched for David Browne.
According to state police, Browne was first taken into custody by rangers from the county’s Department of Conservation Natural Resource on Thursday around 6:30 p.m. State police were also called to the scene in Penn Township, Duncannon to assist rangers.
There were fires set along the Appalachian Trail that Browne was allegedly involved in, troopers say.
Upon being taken into custody, Browne assaulted one of the rangers and fled the scene. The search lasted two hours for Browne but was called off for safety reasons, an abc27 News crew at the scene of the search was told.
Browne was also reported missing earlier this week by the Shippensburg Police Department. At the time, police said Browne had a mental disability that could put himself or others at risk.
State Police resumed their search for Browne on Friday in the wooded area near Bella Vista Drive in Cumberland County.
“All of a sudden, I noticed there were police cars starting to show up everywhere,” neighbor Jim Cox said. “I went to try to find out what was happening, but they made sure that I didn’t go out into the street.”
Cox and his wife live on Bella Vista Drive. He said they had heard about what happened in Perry County Thursday night, so they assumed that was related.
State police used a helicopter and a drone as part of the search, before they took Browne into custody around 10:45 a.m.
“All of a sudden, I saw all the activity shift and I knew right then that they must have honed in on where he was at,” Cox said.
Cox said there have been a few similar incidents in the area, but he is not worried. He said he is impressed by how organized police are and said the important thing is to stay out of their way.
“You never know what a new day will bring,” he said. “When you see it start to congregate, time to lay low.”
State Police would not say whether Browne was armed. It is also not clear yet if Browne will face any charges or what those charges would be.
Browne faces felony charges of aggravated assault and evading arrest, along with misdemeanor charges of simple assault and terroristic threats, according to online court documents.
Browne is currently locked up in Perry County jail with bail set at $100,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 5.