BULLSKIN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – The suspect that police arrested after a fiery crash and manhunt Tuesday night has been arraigned and is in the Fayette County Prison.
Matthew Beers, 22, currently faces 21 charges. He kept his head down when he was escorted into the prison Wednesday morning and refused to answer any questions.
Beers began running from police around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when he crashed a stolen Chevy Silverado from Connellsville into a home on Pleasant Valley Road in Bullskin Township.
“A truck came at a high rate of speed here through the telephone pole, flipped a couple times and landed right in the house,” neighbor Eric Johnson said.
“He could’ve killed my family because my kids were in the car getting ready to leave. He just missed hitting my car and killing my kids,” neighbor Jenny Johnson said.
A viewer sent KDKA-TV video of the truck on fire after the crash.
“It look like the house was on fire, and then we realize it was the truck on the porch,” said witness McCauley Jones, who recorded the video.
Beers and the passenger in the truck took off on foot. State police searched the woods with no luck.
“Witnesses were able to relate that there were two individuals inside the vehicle at the time the vehicle crashed and they fled into a wooded area that was nearby,” said Trooper Stefani Lucas, of State Police in Uniontown.
Around 6:30 p.m., police were then called to a car over a hillside. As it turns out, police say Beers had stolen a second vehicle, a Toyota 4Runner, from someone’s garage. Then, around 7 p.m., police say one of the suspects attempted to steal a Lincoln MKX from a home.
The homeowner exchanged gunfire with the suspect.
“At which point the homeowner caught him in the act of attempting to steal that vehicle and scared him away,” said Trooper Lucas.
Police then put the neighborhood on lockdown.
“You were trapped inside the house. State police wouldn’t let you outside. They had the whole area, AR-15s looking into barns. Just crazy,” neighbor Kyle Johnson said.
Around 8:15 p.m., Beers was spotted at the Sheetz in Bullskin Township. He stopped to get food and was arrested. Police say they found a loaded handgun on him, drug paraphernalia and some items he allegedly stole from victims.
Beers’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 17. His bail has been set at $75,000.
Police are still looking for a second suspect.
“The actor did provide statements; however, they were false statements in regards to the second person involved,” said Trooper Lucas.