Eric Frein Shackled With Slain Trooper’s Handcuffs After Capture

A self-trained survivalist awaits his arraignment inside the same barracks he’s accused of ambushing two Pennsylvania state troopers last month, killing one and seriously wounding another.

U.S. Marshals captured Eric Frein outside an abandoned hanger at Birchwood-Pocono Airport near Tannersville, Pa., about 6 p.m. Thursday, State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said during a news conference.

“When they approached it they saw an individual,” said Noonan. “They ordered him to surrender, to get down and raise his hands.”

Frein, 31, was then shackled in the handcuffs of Cpl. Bryon Dickson, who was killed in the September 12th shooting at the barracks in Blooming Grove, and driven there in the late officer’s police vehicle, said Noonan. He wasn’t armed when he was caught.

“He was definitely taken by surprise,” Noonan said.

A woman told the Scranton Times Tribune that Frein looked exhausted as he was led out of the woods by marshals. Outside of a scratch he suffered before he was taken into custody, Frein appeared to be in good health, said Noonan.

“Healthier than I would have expected,” Noonan added.

For weeks, several thousand members of various departments in at least five states spent countless hours looking for Frein, who had been on the run since the shooting.

“Eric Frein was dedicated to killing law enforcement,” said Noonan. “I can’t think of a more dangerous occupation than going out into those woods and looking for him.”

Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin said he plans to seek the death penalty against Frein, who is charged with first-degree murder, homicide of a law enforcement officer, attempted murder and possession of weapons of mass destruction.

First-degree murder and homicide of a law enforcement officer are both capital offenses. He will be arraigned Friday morning and may face more charges.

“This individual is no longer a threat to this community,” said Tonkin.

Frein had eluded authorities since he allegedly killed Dickson, 38, and injured Trooper Alex Douglass, 31, during a late-night shift change at the barracks.

At times, 1,000 officers searched the rugged mountains for Frein, who police said had planned his attack and hiding for years. The lives of residents in the area were disrupted by the manhunt, including school closings and event cancellations.

Halloween was canceled because of the manhunt but local officials planned to try and salvage trick-or-treating.

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Eric Write head editor and chief at The Pluto Daily