ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Altoona man who broke out of a cop car and ran off handcuffed only to be found in Dauphin County in 2021 was taken into custody again after police found him in a crawl space of an apartment.
Christopher Catich, 25, had multiple warrants for his arrest, including a felony warrant for a previous escape charge, when police received tips that he was staying at an apartment on Broad Avenue in Altoona.
Police arrived at the apartment on May 6 and knocked on the door asking for “Chris.” According to court documents, that’s when police heard the sound of a handgun being drawn back and released. They then began to order Catich out of the apartment with his hands up.
A man living there opened the door and asked the police who they were yelling for. He then admitted that Catich was there, but he heard some rustling and then Catich was gone, according to court documents. Police entered and found no one on the first floor.
One officer went upstairs and noticed a small door leading to a crawl space. When they tried to open it, Catich tried to force it to shut and keep them out. They were able to get Catich to exit the small door and place him in custody according to the police.
Catich reportedly had a small clear bag with white powder in it and half of a cotton swab on him when arrested. Police also noted they found a yellow foil packet with a strip in it and a small wax paper bag. There was no reported indication of a gun being found.
Catich was previously arrested in Sept. 2021 at a Dollar General store in the Juniata section of Altoona. After being cuffed and placed in the back of a cop car, he broke free from the car and took off on foot. He was found the next morning in Dauphin County while still handcuffed.