Search on for man who stabbed deputy

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2000

MEADVILLE — Law enforcement agencies were still looking Saturday night for a man who fled on foot after allegedly stabbing a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy in the hand that morning in an apparent attempt to steal farm chemicals.

Johnny Patrick Thorpe, 31, is considered dangerous, and it is unknown if he is armed, said Franklin County Sheriff James Newman. He has an extensive criminal record throughout the Miss-Lou, Newman said. Thorpe is a white male about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He has brown eyes and very short red hair and was last seen wearing a green coat, jeans and boots. The truck he abandoned at the farm Saturday had an Adams County tag, New man said.

&uot;Anyone who knows Thorpe’s whereabouts is asked to call the nearest law enforcement agency immediately,&uot;&160;Newman said. &uot;And anyone who aids him in any way will be prosecuted to the fullest intent of the law.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

At about 8 a.m., Gene Seale discovered someone trying to steal a container of anhydrous ammonia from his farm just west of Meadville. When Deputy Tony Rouse arrived and attempted to catch Thorpe — who Rouse reported appeared to be high on drugs — a struggle started and Thorpe stabbed Rouse in the left hand with a screwdriver, Newman said.

He said Thorpe fled into a wooded area near the farm. A warrant was issued for Thorpe’s arrest on a charge of assaulting a police officer. Rouse was treated and released Saturday from Franklin Memorial Hospital in Meadville.

Thorpe’s criminal record includes more than a dozen charges in Adams County and Vidalia since 1988, including manslaughter and attempted second-degree murder. Most recently, he was arrested in January 1999 for allegedly violating his parole, Newman said.

Theft of anhydrous ammonia, a chemical normally kept at larger farms, is not uncommon, Newman said. It is used to manufacture crystal methamphetamine. It has become so common that the state Bureau of Narcotics is conducting a widespread investigation. The bureau’s officers were among 30 officers from several agencies involved in Saturday’s search.