Neighbors assist in fugitive capture
A reverse 911 call system and wary neighbors are credited with assisting law officers in catching a Pennsylvania fugitive Wednesday afternoon in the Friendship Community.
Sheriff James Williams said officers arrested David E. Price of Winchester County, Va. Near the Sunnyside neighborhood in Jefferson shortly after 5 p.m. after a two hour chase from Highway 221 north in the Friendship Community.
Officer Jerry Lewis had gone to a trailer in the neighborhood to check on the whereabouts of Price, Williams said. The Sheriff was helping Winchester County, Penn authorities who were looking for Price in connection with a homicide there. Price was believed staying with a girlfriend at the trailer.
As the local deputy approached the girlfriends home, he spotted Price on a moped. An altercation ensued, the sheriff said, and Price fled through the woods. Lewis called for backup.
Williams said he put out a reverse 911 call to homes within a mile radius of the initial sighting of Price. Within about 30 minutes we got a call from a woman who said she had seen the subject going to a neighbors house, Williams said.
That neighbor was Nathan Pritchard, who family members say is trying to get into Highway Patrol school. He took a test to get into the school this week, his father-in-law Ricky Roark said Thursday morning.
Roark said a 13-year-old staying at the home answered the door when Price knocked and told Pritchard a man wanted a ride into West Jefferson.
Pritchard had gotten word of the presence of the suspect in the area and slipped a gun into his pocket when Price knocked, the sheriff said. It was a judgment call. He could have not answered the door, the sheriff said. He didnt want the man (Price) in the house with his wife and family.
So he agreed to take him to town. Through a series of other calls to the sheriffs office, law officers stopped Pritchards truck at the intersection of 221 and Friendship Church Road. Price ran again there, the sheriff said.
Law officers from throughout the county cooperated to search for Price in the nearby wooded area. The group included officers from Wet Jefferson and Jefferson, and the Highway Patrol. K-9 units tracked the man and he was apprehended nearby.
Williams said Thursday morning that Price was being held in the Ashe County Detention Center pending a court hearing on his extradition to Pennsylvania. Roark and the Sheriff warned residents about opening the door to strangers.
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