|State Trooper Tim Knapp secures John Paul Currin, 39, of Youngwood, who was allegedly involved in a robbery of the Parkvale Bank along Matthew Drive in South Union Township Tuesday. (Robert Esquivel/Herald-Standard)|
Police allege Currin robbed the bank while Ashley Lynn Johnston, 22, also of 712 S. Tenth St., Youngwood, and an infant child waited in the car.
Currin, who suffered a gunshot wound to the hand after troopers fired at his vehicle when he was accelerating the pickup truck toward them during the pursuit, was taken by Uniontown Firemen’s Ambulance to Uniontown Hospital for treatment.
His condition was not available as of press time.
He will be formally arraigned on the charges following continued investigation.
Dozens of troopers and other law enforcement personnel converged on a gravel road off of Richmond Street in North Union Township where a state police cruiser rested against the pickup truck Currin was operating after troopers apparently used the car to stop Currin’s escape.
Johnston and the infant were not in the truck Currin used to lead police on a chase and were not injured as a result of the robbery, officials said.
As troopers continued to swarm the area just after the incident occurred, other officers held Currin on the hood of a police cruiser while emergency personnel checked him and then moved him into a nearby ambulance.
According to Marshall, the incident began around 11:25 a.m. when Currin entered the bank, pretended to have a weapon and demanded money.
After receiving more than $800 cash from a teller, Currin fled the bank in a silver Chevrolet Malibu operated by Johnston, Marshall said.
Officials said the child was in a safety seat in the backseat of the car.
Marshall said Johnston was charged with robbery, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, theft and receiving stolen property.
She also will be formally arraigned following additional investigation.
Currin and Johnston then drove to a nearby location where Currin got into a Chevrolet pickup truck and fled the scene.
Troopers spotted Johnston in the Uniontown Mall parking lot and took her into custody without incident.
Other troopers who were responding to the robbery then spotted Currin traveling north on Route 119.
A brief pursuit ensued and Currin exited the roadway onto Pittsburgh Street and headed toward Uniontown and ending just off of Richmond Street where troopers chasing Currin executed a maneuver to spin the truck around and then attempted to take Currin into custody.
At that point, Marshall said Currin accelerated the pickup truck toward the arresting officers who in turn fired their weapons to stop the oncoming truck.
It was not clear if the troopers were injured in the pursuit.
State police Records and Identification Unit were investigating a burglary at the Home Depot in South Union Township when the bank robbery and pursuit occurred and were able to rapidly respond to the incident.
Ed Kopich, who lives at the corner of Pittsburgh Street and Richmond Street, said he was sitting at his kitchen table writing out a check when he heard sirens approach his home and then spotted the truck and a state police cruiser barreling around the turn and down Richmond.
“The cruiser was trying to run him off the road,” Kopich said.
Kopich said he ran out of his home and was starting down Richmond when he heard gunshots and then saw the cruiser and the truck against a fence along a gravel road near E.W. Bowman Inc.
In addition to state police, Uniontown police and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene.