Crissman Capture Praised by County District Attorney

District Attorney Scott Andreassi released details regarding the apprehension of inmate Robert Crissman at the Armstrong County Emergency Operations Center late this morning.

by Jonathan Weaver

Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi confirmed that at approximately 8:40AM, Robert Crissman was apprehended.

Crissman, a former inmate at the Armstrong County Jail, escaped from the Rayburn Township facility early Thursday morning.

Andreassi described this morning’s events.

“The series of events started at approximately 7:30AM this morning. Calls began to come in to the 9-1-1 center that a vehicle matching the description of that stolen yesterday along Rayburn Road was spotted along State Route 1034 in Boggs Township,” Andreassi said.

“Additional calls then come in of an individual matching the description of Crissman being in that area carrying a gas can.”

Robert Crissman is suspected of killing Tammy Long yesterday morning, then stealing the vehicle from her home. Friends will be received Sunday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM at Kennedy & Blodgett Funeral Home in Kittanning. Funeral service will be Monday at Noon.

And, again a few minutes later, a 9-1-1 call was fielded by an emergency dispatcher that Crissman was at her door.

That dispatcher said in an interview first with the Kittanning Paper that Crissman requested help from the homeowner, but she recognized his face and locked the door behind her before calling Armstrong 9-1-1. He then stole her truck from the driveway and a chase ensued.

A five-to-seven mile vehicle pursuit ensued before Crissman’s capture along State Route 1034, State Route 28/66 and Williamson Road. Crissman was apprehended after he tried to ram a Pennsylvania State Police vehicle and lost control of his vehicle.

Andreassi commended those officials and personnel involved in the apprehension

Crissman is currently being processed by Pennsylvania State Police at the Kittanning barracks in East Franklin Township, and will be charged with murder, the theft of two trucks, a gun and a television set, escape from the Armstrong County Jail and aggravated assault on a police officer.

He will be housed in the Butler County Jail.

The state trooper injured his hand and was treated by ambulance official.

Commanding Officer Steve Ignatz said about 75 state troopers from various barracks involved in searching for Crissman during Thursday and into Friday morning.


Escaped Jail Inmate Now Suspected of Murder

by Jonathan Weaver and David Croyle

Robert Edward Crissman left through an open door of the Armstrong County Jail in Rayburn Township jail about 6:30AM yesterday. He is now considered “armed and dangerous” after being a homicide suspect after his escape and flee from State, local and regional officials.

The inmate on-the-run from the Armstrong County Jail is not only still missing more than 24 hours later, but he is now a homicide suspect.

Robert E. Crissman, 38, was originally jailed in the Rayburn Township facility since last week on a probation order, but slipped through an order door of the facility around 7AM yesterday.

Sheriff Bill Rupert said Crissman was an inside trustee at the jail, and was considered non-violent.

“In the mornings whenever the van comes to the back where the kitchen is, they use the trustees to carry the breakfast trays in – that’s when instead of getting out to carry the trays in, he just took off,” Sheriff Rupert said.

Crissman, originally from the Templeton area, is described as being 5′ 9″ tall, weighing 150 pounds, with strawberry-blonde hair, blue eyes, and possibly wearing a dark green jail jumpsuit.

He was last seen heading toward State Route 85 in Rayburn Township. It is reported that Crissman went to the home of Tammy Long at 110 Rayburn Road where he talked with her and her boyfriend, Jerry Slagle. Her boyfriend left for work, and when he returned in the afternoon, Long was dead. Crissman allegedly stole guns from the home as well as a maroon 1999 Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab, with Pennsylvania Registration ZDB-5831. There is also a union carpenter sticker on the back window of the cab of the truck.

While Pennsylvania State Police troopers continued to look for Crissman overnight, Sheriff Rupert and his deputies continue the manhunt at 8AM this morning in various corners of the county and now throughout western Pennsylvania.

It is unknown if he is still in the immediate area, after several reports of sightings in both Armstrong and Allegheny Counties since yesterday afternoon.

Several reports of sightings of Crissman were fielded by officers, including by Kittanning Borough Police, yesterday afternoon and evening during the Fort Armstrong Folk Festival, but none produced any leads according to County Sheriff Bill Rupert. State Police troopers continued the search overnight and County officials continued their search at 8AM this morning.

One caller told 9-1-1 dispatchers Crissman was in the area of Sprankle’s Neighborhood Market wearing a hat and jeans about 4:45PM, but Kittanning Borough Chief Bruce Mathews and Officer Kyle Lewis did not find any clues after investigating the lead, and another caller thought they saw the vehicle in the Franklin Village Mall shopping plaza in East Franklin Township before and during last night’s Fort Armstrong Folk Festival downtown.

“We chased out some leads overnight –nothing turned out to be credible,” Sheriff Rupert said.

A mobile command area was set up in a trailer in the jail’s parking lot near the intersection of State Route 85 and State Route 28/66 yesterday during the investigation, as well as State units surrounded the scene of the alleged homicide he is connected with, though State officials did not verify details yesterday.

County deputies also patrolled the area near Crooked Creek Horse Park in Manor and Bethel Townships before the end of the evening as well to no avail.

State Police troopers have also interviewed many families in the surrounding area. Family members and friends, including his former employer Barry Crytzer, owner of the Horse Trader, described Crissman as being a “quiet” individual who had a drug problem. District Attorney Scott Andreassi said Crissman had been in jail just over a week and suspected that his drug problem could possibly be a reason for his current behavior.

If seen, officials are asking that residents contact the Armstrong County Jail or the Pennsylvania State Police at 724-543-2011 as Crissman is regarded as “armed and dangerous.”