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Fugitive continues to elude police in Solebury, New Hope

Photo supplied to police by hunter Friday afternoon.

The manhunt for fugitive David Hamilton continued Saturday after a night of “saturated roving patrols,” according to Solebury police.

“David Allen Hamilton, Jr. has not been located,” officials said in a statement Saturday morning. “We ask all to keep vigilant.”

The focus of the sweep had been the triangle formed by Aquetong, Sugan and Stoney Hill roads in Solebury Township. But by Saturday morning the search area had widened.

“We are covering everything from River Road/Washington Crossing Park to Street Road, and Route 232 out to Route 202,” said a Solebury police spokesperson. “All officers are on roving patrol.”

Police advise continued caution on the part of the public.

“We ask people to be extra vigilant, and keep their eyes on anyone walking along the roads. He could have stolen a bicycle from a residence to use for transportation. Check for them, and report any missing bicycles or other vehicles to police.”

Corner of Aquetong and Sugan roads in Solebury Township Saturday morning.

Solebury police speculate that Hamilton may have hunkered down in a wooded area overnight, but may now be on the move, perhaps at the edge of the woods near a roadway. They say that residents should check outbuildings such barns, garages and sheds, or call police to assist them if they’re concerned. Hamilton is considered dangerous, and should not be approached.

Lambertville, N.J., residents also remained on edge Saturday, and authorities advised vigilance, but did not believe he was in the city.

“I doubt he made it across the bridge,” said one official.

The massive search for Hamilton, a 47-year-old Trevose man accused of multiple counts of child sexual abuse and rape, began Friday afternoon after he was spotted by a local resident near Stoney Hill and Reeder roads at around 3:45 p.m.

A New Hope police officer managed to catch Hamilton soon after, but he escaped into the woods after a brief fight, nearly grabbing the officer’s gun in the process.

New Hope and Solebury police officers scouring the woods were quickly joined by law enforcement personnel from Lambertville, Buckingham, Doylestown, Bedminster, Lower Southampton, Northampton, and Upper Makefield, along with K9 units from Quakertown, Lower Makefield, and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office.

Also joining the effort were Pennsylvania State Police, New Jersey State Police, Bucks County Park Rangers, and the Bucks County D.A.’s office.

David Hamilton

Authorities had advised nearby residents to shelter in place late Friday afternoon, and a helicopter could be seen and heard overhead until the early evening hours. The search area seemed to shift over time farther south along Sugan Road in New Hope toward Aquetong Road in neighboring Solebury Township.

Nervous locals skipped their evening strolls or jaunts to busy downtown New Hope, adhering to police advice to stay home and lock their doors.

The shelter in place order was lifted at 11:30 p.m. Friday, as police cleared the immediate wooded area where Hamilton had escaped after his struggle with police Friday afternoon.

Police helicopter over New Hope Friday.

A warrant for Hamilton’s arrest had been issued issued Wednesday, and he was sought by Lower Southampton police.

Solebury police had alerted residents to be vigilant earlier Friday, after Hamilton was seen at 12:15 a.m. in Morrisville crossing the Calhoun Street Bridge into Trenton, N.J.

A white 2016 Toyota Corolla believed to have been driven by Hamilton was recovered in Morrisville. He was subsequently said to be riding a blue bicycle while wearing a boonie hat, dark jacket, light-colored shorts and sneakers. He was still riding the bike when he was spotted in New Hope later on Friday.


About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • At the Sept. 27 school board meeting, I brought up my concerns about the playing of the Friday night ( Sept. 21) football game. As I expected, there was not even one attempt of rebuttal of my views from the school board nor the administration.

  • In the acting superintendent’s reply to me, he states,’ WE [ my emphasis ] are working with local enforcement and are taking their lead.” So who is the WE? Is it just one person working with law enforcement or a group of people.

  • It’s amazing isn’t it that “authorities had advised nearby residents to SHELTER IN PLACE[ my emphasis} late Friday afternoon”, yet the New Hope High school football game starting at 7PM and ending close tom 10PM was played. Even though it was senior night, there was not one single administrator (there are at least 10 of them) at the game including the acting Supt. and athletic director.
    Yes, there was a police “presence”. Just two New Hope cops standing along side the fence on the side of the field some 70 yards away from the stands with the fans. In addition, while the high school fans were compacted into one section of the stands, there were groups of middle school students and elementary school kids (that don’t sit still) just roaming around in the dark on the practice field adjacent to the stadium field and in the fields behind the score clock which lead to the wooded areas. What kind of supervision is this? When I sent the acting superintendent my thoughts, he replied,” thank you for your help. We care working with local law enforcement and taking their lead. We will continue to monitor the situation.”
    The BIG question is, what was the lead the New Hope Police Department gave the school district, to close or not to close? That is the question. And today, Monday, the 24th, the acting supt. issues a email stating, ” I have been given assurances from local law enforcement that our campuses are not in danger and we can continue school events as planned.” So on Friday it was safe for football, but this morning until early afternoon it was not safe. Go Figure. Did someone put pressure on the acting supt. to play that game? What say you?

  • The police around here are really not all that swift!!!! There’s nothing going on and they can’t catch a criminal in a fishing hat!? Unbelievable

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