Police: Harrison officers arrest fugitive trying to swim away in Allegheny River

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A Harrison police officer took a dip in the Allegheny River last week, having to chase a warrant suspect into the water to make an arrest, according to a criminal complaint.

Police arrested Curtis Sims, 30, of Harrison’s Natrona section, on Oct. 13. He faces charges of flight to avoid apprehension, resisting arrest, and being in possession of drug paraphernalia, according to online court records.

The complaint against Sims also said he was wanted by the Mississippi Department of Corrections on full felony extradition for charges grand larceny, taking of a motor vehicle and counterfeit substances, the affidavit said.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Police said they were called around 10 p.m. to the 100 block of River Avenue for a report of a man hitting a woman. They were later advised a man wearing tan coveralls was yelling at a woman to let him into an apartment, the complaint said.

When officers got to the scene, they saw a man, later identified as Sims, going into an upstairs apartment. As they walked up, Officer Christopher Cottone said he heard a window being pushed open and a loud noise that sounded as though something had fallen to the pavement.

Cottone said he ran to the front of the building and saw that the man had jumped from the second story window and fallen to the ground. The man got up and began running between houses on nearby Linden Street, the complaint said.

A woman at the scene told investigators who Sims was and that he was wanted out of Mississippi. Officers ran his name through a criminal database and found that he was indeed wanted by authorities, police said.

As officers searched for Sims, Allegheny County dispatchers started receiving calls from nearby residents about a man going through their yards and attempting to break into their homes, the complaint said.

Cottone said he chased Sims through the neighborhood and told him to stop, but Sims continued to flee, the complaint said. Cottone said he deployed a Taser, but it didn’t work because Sims was wearing coveralls, the complaint said.

Cottone said Sims eventually ran across River Avenue, and jumped over the guard rail and down the river bank and into the Allegheny River.

Cottone said Sims attempted to swim away, but police caught up with him and arrested him in the water. Sims had a glass marijuana pipe on him when he was arrested, police said.

Sims was taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison to be medically cleared for a cut on his leg before being booked into the Allegheny County Jail, the complaint said. He remained in the Allegheny County Jail Sunday afternoon after failing to post $10,000 bond, online court records show.

A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 26 before Magisterial District Judge David J. Sosovicka in Harmar.

Madasyn Lee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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