According to the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department, a resident claimed to have seen the escaped inmates, Richard Matt and David Sweat, near I-86. State Police then set up checkpoints along I-86. The original tip claimed to have seen the escaped criminals along railroad tracks.
As a search for two escaped murderers in Allegany county stretched into the night the darkness is posing a new challenge to law enforcement. News 4 has seen state patrol on ATVs, searching the dense woods in the area of Friendship.
Earlier Saturday, a police chopper circled a bridge along interstate 86 near East Maple Grove Road, on some train tracks. State troopers told us that was a hot spot in the search.
Eastbound traffic there was backed up for more than a mile earlier as state troopers, armed with rifles, checked every passing vehicle.
Now while state police have said this is still an unconfirmed sighting, they’re checking every possible location to make sure David Sweat and Richard Matt are found. They’re also checking inside houses, according to residents.
News 4 spoke to neighbors who live just a few miles outside Friendship, they tell us they are armed and ready if they spot either inmate.
Doug Comstock has lived here his whole life, and says Saturday’s panic reminded him of another notorious western New York killer. “Bucky Phillips. Yep, similar, similar to that. They need to catch these guys. These guys are bad. They need to catch them and put everybody at ease,” he said.
“There’s woods everywhere, there are so many places where people are, you don’t know if their going to run into your lawn, or what area they are because Friendship is only 4 miles away,” said Tori Warner from Buffalo.
Comstock and his neighbors tell News 4 they’re staying put and together. They say they’re all on edge. Today marks day 15 of Sweat and Matt being on the loose.
Anyone along the NY and PA border is being urged to stay inside and be alert.
Police say if anybody in the area does see the escaped criminals, they should immediately call 911.
News 4 will continue to update this story as more details become available. Tune in to News 4 LIVE here to keep updated on the latest developments.