Police: Dangerous York fugitive captured after running through marsh

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

After leading York City Police on a chaotic vehicle chase through morning rush-hour traffic, wanted fugitive Shanquay D. Ritter was forced to abandon his failing vehicle and take off on foot, charging documents allege.

He ran through mud, creeks and a swampy area to get away but was captured in a marshy area while trying to climb over a fence along Interstate 83, near the border of Springettsbury and Spring Garden townships, documents state.

Ritter, 21, whose last-known address was in the 200 block of Chestnut Street, was wanted because he cut off the GPS-monitoring ankle cuff he was required to wear as a condition of his bail on a pending criminal case, according to charging documents.

Shanquay D. Ritter

Ritter is being represented on the earlier case by defense attorney Bill Graff.

"He just made a bad decision, that's all," Graff said, referring to Ritter allegedly taking off his GPS monitor and absconding.

Ritter previously was wanted for questioning in two York city homicides, and police said he is suspected of being involved in several city shootings.

He is now in York County Prison on $30,000 bail, charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, flight to avoid apprehension, reckless endangerment, escape, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license, driving into the opposing lane and two counts of driving the wrong way on a one-way street, according to charging documents.

Bail revoked: But he can't be released even if he posts bail.

That's because bail was revoked in Ritter's prior criminal case after he cut off his ankle-monitoring cuff and absconded, according to court records.

In that case, Ritter is charged with drug-dealing and illegally possessing body armor.

Members of the U.S. Marshals Service's Fugitive Task Force spotted Ritter driving a maroon Nissan Maxima just before 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, near the corner of East South and South Howard streets, charging documents state.

The task force members lost sight of Ritter but summoned multiple city patrol officers to help search, police said.

He was spotted again less than 15 minutes later, and several officers tried to pull over Ritter near the corner of West Philadelphia and North Beaver streets, documents state.

Instead of pulling over, Ritter took off — nearly crashing into an unmarked vehicle occupied by York City Detectives Tony Fetrow and Travis Sowers, according to documents.

City patrol units pursued Ritter as he fled north onto George Street and east onto Gas Avenue, then headed south on Pine Street, police said.

Wrong way: He went the wrong way down Philadelphia Street, which at the time was "congested with morning commuters," charging documents state.

When Ritter got to the intersection of Broad Street, the light was red and traffic was backed up, police said.

Ritter drove down the middle of the road, police said, and other vehicles moved to either side of the street to get out of his way.

But traffic was still too heavy, so Ritter turned north onto Painter Avenue, nearly clipping a bus, and crossed Walnut Street, police allege.

He then went the wrong way on Wallace Street and headed north on Sherman Street, where he started to pick up speed and cut off a tractor-trailer, documents state.


Car ditched: Ritter attempted to head east on Route 30 but once again ran into slow-moving traffic, so he turned right onto 11th Avenue, where he ditched the car and took off on foot, charging documents allege.

City Officers Dan Craven and Jeremy Fultz chased him on foot through soggy terrain, police said.

"He fled in a southwesterly direction through the mud, creeks, and swamp of the area heading toward (Interstate) 83," documents state.

Officers arrested Ritter as the fugitive was in a marshy area, trying to get over a fence at I-83, police said.

Reward offered: Police had offered a reward for tips leading to Ritter's arrest, saying he was armed and dangerous.

Shanquay Ritter

Police first announced on July 31 that they were looking to arrest Ritter and five others with outstanding warrants as part of a general crackdown on street violence.

That was in response to six people being shot in three separate incidents in York City between July 27 and 29, police said.

Police have previously said they wanted to question Ritter about the Aug. 21, 2017, homicide of Jamere Cherry, 28, in the 200 block of East Gas Avenue, and the April 24, 2018, homicide of Nylik Roger Moore, 18, of North York.

He wasn't charged in either shooting.

When police tracked down Ritter in April to talk with him about Moore's slaying, he was allegedly in possession of illegal body armor and cocaine and was arrested and charged, police have said.

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