Pennsylvania Senate OKs bill to criminalize fleeing arrest on foot

Pennsylvania state house

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s state Senate is supporting a bill that would make it a crime to flee a police officer who is trying to arrest them, and an additional crime if a police dog is hurt while it pursues the person.

The bill passed Tuesday, 36-14, and goes to the House for consideration.

It was introduced by northeastern Pennsylvania senators to commemorate a Scranton police officer, John Wilding, who died of a head injury in 2015 in pursuit of suspects in a vehicle theft.

The severity of the penalty for knowingly fleeing arrest rises based on the seriousness of the underlying crime and if someone is hurt or killed in the pursuit.

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