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Arrest Ends N.Y. Manhunt

An escaped inmate suspected of killing a state trooper surrenders after being cornered.

September 09, 2006|From the Associated Press

CARROLL, N.Y. — A fugitive suspected of fatally shooting a New York state trooper and wounding two others surrendered to police Friday night after being cornered in a field.

As 25 SWAT officers and 12 dogs began to move in, Ralph "Bucky" Phillips walked out with his hands raised, New York State Police Investigator Gary Colon said. Authorities had been after the career thief since he broke out of a Buffalo jail in April.

The arrest capped a frantic day of searching that included troopers firing at Phillips as he dodged authorities in a wooded area.

Phillips, 44, was being taken to a jail in Buffalo -- the same one he escaped -- and was to be arraigned today. He initially faces a charge of attempted murder in connection with the June 10 shooting of a state trooper.

Phillips, who had threatened "suicide by cop" and once promised to "splatter pig meat all over Chautauqua County," was on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list.

Since his escape, he has made his way through southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, eluding a huge manhunt, stealing cars, burglarizing homes and camps, and relying on a network of acquaintances to stay free, police said.

Friday's search started in Pennsylvania shortly before 2 a.m., when a police officer tried to pull over a stolen car. After a short chase, the car crashed, and the driver, identified by police as Phillips, fled into the woods.

Half an hour later, Phillips stole a second car and drove back into New York, where troopers located him and launched a second chase, authorities said.

Phillips became the subject of a widespread manhunt after allegedly shooting a state trooper near Elmira in June. The trooper survived.

Then, authorities said, he ambushed and shot two New York state troopers on Aug. 31 as they staked out the home of Phillips' former girlfriend. One trooper died Sunday; the other was in critical condition. Charges were pending in these shootings.

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