Suit: Man held on trumped-up charge after trooper ambushed

AP News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2016 3:59 PM

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A federal lawsuit alleges Pennsylvania State Police held a man for four days on a trumped-up charge because they falsely suspected him in a trooper's 2014 ambush.

State troopers falsely claimed in an affidavit that authorities in Escambia County, Florida, wanted to extradite Donald F. DeLade, of Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania, the lawsuit said. In reality, DeLade had a minor probation violation in Florida, but authorities there had no intention of seeking his extradition.

Troopers used the bogus extradition request as a pretext to hold him while they investigated whether he was the gunman in the ambush that killed Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II and wounded another trooper, according to the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

A state police spokeswoman said the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Police eventually arrested Eric Frein in the ambush at the Blooming Grove barracks.

Frein, a self-taught survivalist, led police on a tense 48-day manhunt through the northeastern Pennsylvania woods before U.S. marshals caught him outside an abandoned airplane hangar about 30 miles from the shooting scene. He has pleaded not guilty. Authorities are seeking the death penalty.

It's the second lawsuit filed against state police over their conduct after the shooting. A Clarks Summit man also says he was illegally detained.