Armed robbery suspect stopped in Greene County following high speed pursuit

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A suspect in an armed robbery near Fairmont, W.Va., led police on a high-speed chase north on Interstate 79 early Wednesday before being forced to a stop by state police near Ruff Creek in Greene County.


Rocco John Iacovone, 26, of Washington, formerly of Glendale, Ariz., was arrested and charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence of alcohol, recklessly endangering another person and other charges.


The chase started following an armed robbery at 11:49 p.m. at the Go-Mart in White Hall, W.Va., according to Fairmont, W.Va., police. The robber left the store and fled in a white minivan.


A Fairmont police patrolman spotted the vehicle traveling north on Interstate 79 and attempted to stop it. The driver fled, eventually reaching speeds of 90 miles an hour.


Fairmont police, assisted by the Marion County, W.Va., Sheriff’s Department, continued the pursuit into Pennsylvania, where state police joined in the chase. State police an officer from the sheriff’s department saw the suspect throw a handgun out the window near the Kirby interchange.


State police deployed spike strips at the 14-mile marker which deflated one of the vehicle’s tires. Iacovone continued to flee north and exited the interstate at the Ruff Creek exit and turned right onto Route 221.


About two-tenths of a mile from the exit, state police Trooper Joe Popielarcheck used his car in a ”pit maneuver,” apparently bumping the minivans bumper with his own, to stop the vehicle, state police said.


Iacovone lost control of the minivan, which overturned on the west side of the road. Iacovone fled on foot jumping over two fences before he was apprehended by police.


Iacovone was arraigned before District Judge Lou Dayich and placed in the Greene County Jail on $100,000 bond.


Fairmont police said Iacovone also is a suspect in an armed robbery Feb. 10 of a Subway Restaurant in Fairmont and a recent robbery of a gas station in South Strabane Township, Washington County.


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