Officer breaks ankle pursuing robbery suspect near 10th Street Bridge

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A Pittsburgh police officer broke his ankle early today while searching for a robbery suspect who had jumped off the 10th Street Bridge.

Police said the suspect, 27-year-old Evan Thornton, was found after a two-hour search. Police did not indicate where Mr. Thornton resides.

The robbery was reported at 12:12 a.m. by a 30-year-old man from Braddock who said he had received a call from Mr. Thornton asking to meet. At that meeting, the Braddock man, whom police did not identify, said $300 in cash was snatched from his shorts pocket. Mr. Thornton ran. Police were called.

Police said Mr. Thornton had fled to the 10th Street Bridge and had jumped off the bridge as he was approached by a patrol car. He fell about 50 feet, landing in thick brush along the river shoreline.

His efforts to elude police were foiled by a woman to whom he sent a text message, asking that she call a jitney for him. Instead, the woman -- who was not identified by police -- called 911.

Mr. Thornton was spotted by River Rescue team members about 15 yards from the shore in the Monongahela River and was taken into custody at about 3:30 a.m. today.

Police said the officer who broke his ankle during the search for Mr. Thornton initially was taken to UPMC Mercy but is now recovering at home.

Police said Mr. Thornton complained of leg and back pain and was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, North Side. He then was transported to the Allegheny County Jail. He faces a robbery charge and also had outstanding warrants from Pittsburgh and the county sheriff's office, police said.


Karen Kane: kkane@post-gazette.com or at 724-772-9180. First Published July 6, 2014 12:00 AM

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