Police: Domestic dispute ends in creek search

Liz Evans Scolforo
  • Both water searches were spurred by men fleeing from officers, according to police.
  • Anyone with information about the Gut Road assault and river search is asked to call police at (717) 266-6195.

For the second time in two days, Northeastern Regional Police were forced to summon water-rescue search units for a suspect who fled into moving water.

An aerial shot of the Susquehanna River, south of the location of Monday's river search.
(Photo by John A. Pavoncello -

Officers were called to a home in the 5400 block of North George Street in East Manchester Township about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday for a reported domestic dispute, where they found a woman who'd been assaulted, according to Lt. Howard Daniels.

The man suspected of assaulting her fled from those officers, initially in a vehicle, the lieutenant said.

"He got into a short chase with officers, abandoned his vehicle in a private drive and ran into the woods on foot," Daniels said. The location is along the Conewago Creek, police said.

Call for help: A short time later, officers searching for the man heard someone in the area yelling for help and called in a water-rescue team, he said. The team was from Eagle Fire Co., the fire company confirmed.

The water-rescue team began searching about 2 a.m. and searched for about two hours, but they were unable to find the man, according to Daniels.

Newberry Township Police responded with a K-9 unit and helped search as well, police said.

"He's alive and well," Daniels said of the man. "He called (Wednesday morning) and wanted his car back."

The man's car had been towed because he'd abandoned it on private property, the lieutenant said.

The woman he allegedly assaulted was punched in the face and punched numerous times in the back of the head, Daniels said. The investigation is ongoing, he said.

Earlier river search: It was the second time this week police needed Eagle Fire Co. to respond with a water-rescue team.

On Monday evening, a man fishing the Susquehanna River near Gut Road in East Manchester Township was attacked by three men, according to Daniels.

The man was badly beaten and taken to a local hospital, where he was kept overnight for observation, the lieutenant said.

"One suspect was apprehended in a van, trying to leave the scene," Daniels said. "Two of them went into the water. ... One was rescued from an island."

The third man couldn't be found, and Eagle Fire Co.'s water-rescue unit was called to search the river, according to the lieutenant. That search lasted into Tuesday morning, he said, but failed to locate the suspect.

"He also turned up," Daniels said.

Swam to shore: The man called police later, after apparently swimming to shore, walking to a road and calling for a ride, according to the lieutenant.

Daniels said it's unusual for Northeastern Regional Police to request two water-rescue searches in two days, and noted dryly that perhaps a public-service message is needed to warn people not to flee into moving water when running from police — "especially when you consume copious amounts of intoxicating beverages."

He said it's unclear whether the fisherman assaulted along Gut Road knew his attackers, but he said investigators don't believe it was random.

Anyone with information about the Gut Road assault is asked to call police at (717) 266-6195.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.