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Lower Gwynedd Cops First To Spot NY Fugitive

Elected not to pursue Thomas Borden because of traffic, road conditions; Borden later died after being hit by a SEPTA train in Jenkintown

A murder suspect from New York state who police say in Jenkintown on Monday was originally spotted by Lower Gwynedd police, but the department elected not to pursue him, the department's chief said Monday night.

Lower Gwynedd Chief of Police John Scholly said Thomas Borden, of Corning, NY, was spotted in a vehicle, identified by Abington police as a Ford pickup truck, near the intersection of Route 309 and Welsh Road.

"We were all set. We followed him, we had multiple police departments set up to stop the car, but he wasn't stopping. There was no point in pursuing him even though we could have, according to regulations, because he was a violent offender," Scholly said.

According to Scholly, the circumstances under which a pursuit would have taken place were not ideal. 

"Looking at the traffic conditions, the road conditions, the weather, and everything else, the speed the guy was doing ... it wasn't worth it," Scholly said.

Borden's vehicle was later found abandoned in the parking lot of a Jenkintown elementary school. Borden was later found by police searching for him on foot. Police say he jumped into the SEPTA train's path during the ensuing foot pursuit.

"On the [police radio] broadcast, it said that not only was he wanted for homicide, but that he was armed, dangerous, and suicidal," Scholly said.

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