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Police: Man runs in front of oncoming train, jumps into river to avoid arrest

CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. — Connellsville police say a young man tried desperately to get away from them over the weekend.

Sean Prince allegedly ran in front of an oncoming train and then jumped into the Youghiogheny River while handcuffed.

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He didn't get far before police pulled him out of the river.

Prince was trying to make it to the other side, but couldn’t swim in the freezing cold water with his hands cuffed behind his back and ended up being flown to a hospital.


"He fled ran down our ramp here, ran down the train tracks and was almost actually struck by a train," said Andrew Hominsky, a corporal with Connellsville police. "Gets past the train, still has cuffs behind his back, jumps over tracks and down a 15-foot retaining wall."

A constable had just picked up the 21-year-old, who was wanted for failure to appear at a preliminary hearing on drug charges.

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Police had to get to the train to stop, got around it and found Prince was already in the river, where the water was dangerously cold.

"He entered the river and quickly found out he wasn't going to be able to make it to the other side, especially handcuffed," Hominksy said.

According to investigators, he floated about 40 feet downstream until he caught a tree branch and held on.

New Haven River Rescue Team rushed to him on their motorized raft and pulled him to safety.

Prince has a criminal history.

Channel 11 covered his arrest last year after he stole eight hams from the Shop 'n Save in Youngwood, Westmoreland County, when Channel 11 viewers helped identify him for police.

Prince was flown to UPMC Presby with hypothermia.

He was treated and taken to the Fayette County Jail.