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.”
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.
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.
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.