HARRISVILLE – A Springfield Township man picked up by Harrisville police has been accused of escaping from the police station.
John Roy Barlow Jr., 55, of 255 Brent Road, remains in Butler County Jail following the April 9 incident.
According to the criminal complaint:
Police on April 9 were patrolling the area of South Main Street and William Flynn Highway in Mercer Township when they stopped a pickup truck at 6:41 p.m. in a parking lot in the 4300 block of William Flynn Highway.
The vehicle was stopped for having a possibly altered inspection sticker. A computer check showed that it had expired Oct. 31, and that it had been suspended or revoked.
The driver got out of the truck and started walking toward the police cruiser. The patrolman got out of his own car and asked the driver for his license, registration card, and proof of insurance.
The driver, identified by a state photo ID card as Barlow, said that he didn’t have a current license due to drunken driving charges.
Police questioned the truck’s two male passengers to see if someone else could drive; both men said their licenses had been suspended because of drunken driving charges.
Police noted open cans of beer in the cab of the truck.
As police were checking all three names with Butler County 911, Barlow walked behind a nearby store, and police found him walking away while talking on his cellphone.
Police asked Barlow to stop and place his hands on the wall so he could be searched for weapons. He complied, then ran back toward the store.
Police ordered him to get on the ground; he refused and had to be taken down with force. Barlow continued to struggle, and the patrolman called for backup.
The patrolman told Barlow he would be shocked with a Taser if he did not comply, after which he allowed himself to be handcuffed.
After more police officers arrived, Barlow was taken to the Harrisville police station. He asked to use the bathroom, and the patrolman removed the handcuff from his right hand and attached it to his belt loop – Barlow had been cooperating and not causing any problems, police said.
While the patrolman was using the phone, Barlow came out of the bathroom and walked out of the station.
He was nowhere in sight, and the patrolman called for help in finding him. Multiple police departments searched the area by vehicle and foot.
The search ended with no sign of Barlow, whose shoes had been removed by police so that he would not run off.
Barlow was eventually arrested, according to court documents, which do not indicate when and where he was taken into custody.
He was charged April 10 by Harrisville police with escape, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, driving with suspended vehicle registration, driving without insurance, driving without valid inspection, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without a license, driving with a suspended or revoked license, displaying altered or stolen inspection sticker, possessing or using altered or forged vehicle documents, restrictions on alcoholic beverages, and two counts each of receiving stolen property and theft by unlawful taking.
All charges were waived to the Butler County Court of Common Pleas during a preliminary hearing with District Judge William S. O’Donnell, Slippery Rock.
Barlow’s Common Pleas arraignment is set for 1 p.m. June 25 with Judge William Shaffer.