PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Police caught up to a man trying to flee assault charges because he posted a selfie on Facebook while sitting on a Greyhound bus out of town, a police chief said Tuesday.
"We like it when dumb criminals assist us in our investigation," Ambridge police Chief James Mann told the Beaver County Times, which first reported the arrest.
Mann told The Associated Press that the suspect, 22-year-old Donald Harrison, had been living in the borough about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh when he was charged with assaulting a woman and refusing to let her leave her apartment after an argument on Jan. 24.
An hour after the woman called police, police learned that Harrison, who is originally from Spartansburg, South Carolina, posted the Facebook message, "IT'S TIME TO LEAVE PA."
Police couldn't find him right away, but Mann said the woman called him Sunday afternoon after she noticed the Facebook selfie with the message saying, "OMW TO SPARTANSBURG SC SAY A PRAYER FOR ME."
Mann said the picture appeared to show Harrison sitting in a bus or airplane and, acting on a hunch, he called the Greyhound bus terminal in Pittsburgh and learned a bus to Spartansburg had left 15 minutes earlier. After learning it would stop in Youngstown, Ohio, Mann explained the situation to Greyhound and arranged for Youngstown police to arrest Harrison on a warrant he faxed them.
"I guess when the bus pulled in they instructed the driver to keep the door shut until police got there, and the rest is history," Mann said. "We've been on `World's Dumbest Criminals' for a couple of things, but his actions certainly qualifies for another episode" of the reality show on truTV.
The show focuses on the dumb but funny things criminal suspects sometimes do that get themselves caught. But Mann said there's nothing funny about what Harrison allegedly did to the victim.
Among other things, Harrison body-slammed her several times during the 12-hour ordeal before he left, and she has several fractured vertebrae, Mann said.
As a result, police expect to add a charge of aggravated assault when he is extradited from Ohio later this week.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Harrison, who is charged with simple assault, unlawful restraint and reckless endangerment, among other charges.