DERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A man who was on the run after escaping from a Westmoreland County mental health hospital on Tuesday has been captured.
According to police, Steven Michael Barron was caught around 10:30 p.m.
Barron is now behind bars facing new charges after escaping from Torrance State Hospital.
The 21-year-old scaled a 12-foot fence, and then took off on foot to an abandoned home on Hillside Road in Derry.
That’s where a KDKA viewer spotted him and called police.
“Viewers were very integral when it came to giving us information to find him,” said Trooper Steve Limani, of Pennsylvania State Police.
Police converged on the house with semi-automatic rifles drawn, but Barron had already moved on. A few hours later, he was spotted in Downtown Derry.
“At first, he gave false information about who he was, but ultimately he did agreed that he was the person that we were looking for,” said Trooper Limani.
A Westmoreland County judge committed Barron to Torrance after he assaulted a man at Westmoreland Hospital’s mental health center.
Police say Barron suffers from severe mental illness and is handy with knives.
“We knew he had some affinity for knives, which when you have someone that has an affinity for a weapon – especially a dangerous weapon like a knife – it just makes you safety level and your caution for the public, it goes up a little bit,” Trooper Limani said.