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Man Accused of Hopping in River, Swimming Away From Authorities After Wrecking Truck in Cook Forest

Thursday, September 14, 2023 @ 12:09 AM

Posted by Jacob Deemer

police-night-newBARNETT TWP., Pa. (EYT) – Authorities say a man crashed a pickup truck in Cook Forest State Park and fled the scene by swimming across the river.

Court records show DCNR Rangers in Cook Forest State Park filed criminal charges against 30-year-old Ty James Cressman, of Ford City, on Monday, September 11, in Magisterial District Judge Daniel L. Miller’s office.

According to a criminal complaint, Ranger Todd E. Showen received a radio call from the Park Manager, who needed assistance on River Road (SR 2002) just north of Jack’s Hallow Road for assistance with a suspicious person and a disabled vehicle on Saturday, August 19.

Ranger Showen arrived on the scene around 8:50 a.m. and was briefed that the operator, identified as Ty Cressman, had been in and out of consciousness. When he finally woke up, Cressman refused to listen to the park manager who told him to stay in the vehicle, the complaint states.

Cressman partially stripped down, jumped into the Clarion River, and swam across to the other shore, according to the complaint.

Initial information was received that a report was made to PSP Marienville around 4:00 a.m. on August 19 that a vehicle had left the roadway and struck several park and state signs on State Route 36 near the campground entrance, the complaint indicates.

Damages observed and evidence left at the crash site indicate that the vehicle driven by Cressman was the one involved in the crash, the complaint notes.

At this time, Ranger Showen contacted PSP to assist in possibly locating Cressman. Ranger Showen was then informed by the park manager that the owner of the vehicle had arrived and began to remove certain items from the truck and place them in the vehicle that she arrived in, the complaint states.

Ranger Showen observed the items and made the woman return them to the truck. Items returned were a black backpack and several child-related items. The woman stated that she did not really know Cressman, and he had just stayed the night. She further explained she woke up sometime in the morning to find that he had taken her truck without her permission, the complaint indicates.

Ranger Showen asked if she had reported the truck stolen and she stated “No,” the complaint notes.

Upon returning to the damaged truck, an inventory was completed by Ranger Flick. The black backpack was seized as evidence since it contained several items of drug paraphernalia. The truck was registered to the woman’s deceased father. She stated that she had recently been told by the executor of her father’s estate to not drive the vehicle since it did not have insurance anymore, the complaint states.

At approximately 8:15 p.m. on August 19, approximately 12 hours from the initial call, Ranger Showen was notified by Ranger Priest that authorities had apprehended Cressman on State Route 36.

Upon returning to the ranger station, Cressman was secured to the holding bench. He was asked if he needed medical aid, and he declined. When signing the medical release form, Cressman wrote the wrong name on the form stating his name was Tyler Crissman, and gave a false date of birth of 4/15/1993. His true DOB is 4/25/1993, the complaint indicates.

Ranger Reynolds tried a JNET search, but no information came back. Ranger Reynolds again verified the provided information, at which time Cressman gave the correct information, the complaint notes.

After verifying the provided information on Cressman, Ranger Showen informed him that he was under arrest and was read his Miranda Rights in the presence of Ranger Priest and Ranger Reynolds, the complaint states.

Cressman stated the rangers could talk to his attorney, and at this time no further questions were asked. Cressman was advised that he would be receiving additional charges in the near future, the complaint indicates.

According to the complaint, Cressman possessed a set of black metal knuckles and two crack pipes.

Cressman was charged with the following:

  • Make Repairs/Sell/Etc. Offensive Weapon, Misdemeanor 1
  • Flight To Avoid Apprehension/Trial/Punishment, Misdemeanor 2
  • Unauthorized Use of Motor/Other Vehicles, Misdemeanor 2
  • Accident Involving Damage Attended Vehicle/Property, Misdemeanor 3
  • False Identification To Law Enforcement Officer, Misdemeanor 3
  • Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor
  • Required Financial Responsibility, Summary
  • Driving W/O A License, Summary
  • Careless Driving, Summary
  • Reckless Driving, Summary

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 3, at 9:30 a.m., with Judge Miller presiding.

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