The 31-year-old self-described survivalist and military re-enactor was finally arrested Thursday by U.S. Marshals who spotted him outside his hiding place in an abandoned airplane hangar at a shuttered Pocono Mountains resort.
The marshals ordered Frein to get down on his knees and raise his hands. He complied, unable to get to the two guns he had nearby, a pistol and likely the same .308 rifle that was used seven weeks ago to kill 38-year-old Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Byron Dickson and critically wound 33-year-old Trooper Alex Douglass.
“He was definitely taken by surprise,” Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan later said. “He gave up because he was caught and he had no choice but to give up.”
Frein was placed in handcuffs that belonged to the murdered Dickson. The suspect was then hustled out of the surrounding woods and placed in an armored vehicle before being loaded into the back of what had been Dickson’s police cruiser. His only injury was a scratch on his nose.
“But he had that before we got there,” Noonan reported.
Frein sat in the murdered cop’s car appearing tired and angry. He was dressed in black and he was as dirty as might be expected, but he had surprisingly little beard, apparently having paused to shave within the past few days.
“He looked healthier than I thought he would,” Noonan said.
With lights flashing, the cruiser arrived at the Blooming Grove State Police barracks in Pike County. Dickson had been leaving there at the end of a tour and was heading home to his wife and two young sons on the night of Sept. 12 when he was gunned down by a sniper concealed in the darkened woods.
The two troopers who now led Frein inside 48 days later are said to have included Cpl. Derek Felsman, who had delivered the eulogy at Dickson’s funeral at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton. Felsman had spoken of Dickson as an “impeccable” former Marine who took great joy in making wooden toys for his sons and great pride in wearing a trooper’s uniform.
“A steadfast soldier of the law,” Felsman had said of his friend and comrade.
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