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Schuylkill County Police News

Schuylkill County Man Arrested for Kidnapping, Theft After High-Speed Pursuit

Suspect held a gun to himself and said he wanted to die from suicide-by-cop.

A Schuylkill County man allegedly told a woman that he wanted to die via suicide-by-cop when he made her get in his vehicle outside Pine Grove last week.

According to State Police-Schuylkill Haven, the incident happened back last Wednesday, May 29, at about 2:15 p.m., in the area of McDonald’s in Suedberg, Pine Grove Township. Troopers responded there to a “302 involuntary commitment” call involving a suicidal man with a pistol, whom they have identified as Andres Rivera, 49, of Coaldale. 

Before police arrived at that McDonald’s location, Rivera allegedly engaged Troopers in a dangerous, high-speed pursuit in that area. 

A 21-year-old Lebanon woman reportedly was made to enter Rivera’s truck prior to police arrival. While in his truck, the woman texted a friend that she did not feel safe and that Rivera was making comments to the effect that he’d be better off dead, that he had a gun, and that he wanted to die through suicide-by-cop.

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Eventually, the woman convinced Rivera to drop her off at the nearby Pilot gas station along Suedberg Rd. While Rivera was stopped at the Pilot station, Troopers spotted his vehicle and tried to initiate a traffic stop. However, Rivera fled that scene at a high rate of speed. That triggered police to pursue him.

During the pursuit, police say Rivera broke numerous traffic laws, including passing a school bus that had its yellow lights activated. 

Police used a Precision Immobilization Technique, which caused Rivera and the Trooper to come to a stop. But Rivera put his vehicle in reverse after that and fled once more. 

Spike strips were eventually used, which Rivera hit and suffered a flat tire. He went back to the McDonald’s, got out of his vehicle and then stole the Lebanon woman’s vehicle and once again led police on a pursuit.

Eventually, Rivera crashed the Lebanon woman’s vehicle in the area of Oak Grove and Trumbo roads in Pine Grove Township. 

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Rivera exited that vehicle holding a pistol to his head, mouth, and chest, police say. While doing this, he implored police to kill him, police say. 

Police say they negotiated Rivera out of this situation and took him into custody.

Rivera is looking at felony charges of kidnapping, fleeing and eluding police, and theft, as well as a host of misdemeanor charges for unlawful restrain and reckless endangerment. 

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