The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 2, 2012

Suspect jailed following high-speed police chase

Patrick Buchnowski

— An Allegheny County man with suicidal tendencies who police said threatened to kill officers after a high-speed chase in Cambria County was jailed on Friday.

Todd Ryan Ford, 39, of Mount Oliver, was charged by West Hills Regional police with fleeing police, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, DUI and drug possession.

In a criminal complaint, police said that on Oct. 25 Ford led them on a chase that started at the scenic overlook along state Route 56 in Lower Yoder Township.

Ford had parked his vehicle at the overlook and struck up a conversation with a woman there.

“At some point during the conversation he told her he was going to kill himself,” police Sgt. George Musulin III said. “She became concerned and called 911, and our patrols responded.”

West Hills and Seward officers arrived and found Ford in his vehicle.

“I’m going to kill myself,” Ford said, according to the complaint.

Ford raised a rifle with a scope to his face. He put down the rifle and sped off toward Seward, then back toward Johnstown, reaching speeds of 80 mph, police said.

Ford stopped his vehicle in a pull-off area and climbed out.

Ford, who police said is

6-foot-4 and weighs 190 pounds, wrestled with police and a Cambria County detective as they tried to take him into custody.

“This guy was totally out of control,” Musulin said.

Police used a Taser to subdue Ford. They said he threatened to kill all of the officers.

Ford was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, where police said he threatened hospital personnel.

Ford remained in the hospital’s psychiatric ward until Friday, when he was arraigned by District Judge John Barron of Upper Yoder Township.

Ford was sent to the Cambria County Prison, where he is being held on $75,000 bond.

Ford also is wanted in Somerset County on charges that he threatened to kill his girlfriend and her parents, Musulin said.

He is wanted in Allegheny County for a probation violation.

Ford told officers he previously had tried to hang himself and spent time in a Pittsburgh hospital after a failed suicide attempt, police said in the complaint.

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