Binghamton Man Charged After Fleeing Vestal Police
A man whose attempt to elude Vestal police officers resulted in an emergency shutdown of a Route 201 bridge has been arrested.
Authorities say 28-year-old Michael LaMantia of Binghamton ran away as he was being questioned by officers. They say he tossed a backpack containing a realistic-looking BB gun revolver into the Susquehanna River.
Investigators say LaMantia then crossed both lanes of traffic before stopping on the west ledge of the bridge.
Police closed down the bridge for the safety of officers and LaMantia. He struggled briefly with Vestal and Johnson City officers who took him into custody.
LaMantia initially was stopped by police because they had information from an ongoing investigation that he may have had a handgun. They say he gave a false name to officers and ran onto the bridge after they determined his real identity.
Johnson City firefighters used a department boat to search the river and retrieve the backpack that had been thrown off the bridge.
Police say the BB gun was designed to look like a revolver. They say the BB holders were made to look and load like real bullets.
LaMantia was charged with false personation, resisting arrest and coercion. He was arraigned in Vestal town court and sent to Broome County Jail.
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