A Bucks County man led police on a wild high speed chase early Tuesday morning before taking his own life, according to investigators.
On Monday, around 5:30 p.m., police received a report about a possibly suicidal man. Police say Richard Cantando, 27, of Blooming Glen, Pa. spoke to his minister and claimed he was in trouble.
Back in 2009, Cantando was sentenced to 12-month probation for loitering and prowling in the nighttime. He was sentenced to 12-month probation once again in 2010 for simple assault.
Cantando allegedly told the minister he planned to violate his probation but wouldn’t let police take him back to jail.
On Tuesday, around 12:20 a.m., police observed Cantando drive into the parking lot of an apartment complex in Hilltown Township. Two Hilltown police cars tried to stop Cantando by activating their lights. Police say Cantando refused to stop however. He allegedly pulled out of the parking lot onto the highway, leading to a high speed pursuit.
During the chase, Cantando allegedly leaned out of his window and fired six to seven shots at police, disabling one police car in the process. Officers from other jurisdictions soon joined in on the pursuit.
After Cantando reached Route 309 in Quakertown, Quakertown Police deployed stop sticks, flattening Cantando’s tires. This wasn’t enough to bring him to a complete stop however and the chase continued.
Units from the Pennsylvania State Police soon joined the chase. Police say they pushed Cantando’s vehicle in the left rear with the right front of their patrol vehicle (a PIT maneuver) in order to force his car off the road. Cantando’s car finally came to a stop at an embankment near Bubba’s Restaurant in Springfield Township.
This was only temporary however, as police say Cantando began to drive towards them while firing more shots out of his window. Police returned fire but Cantando was not hit.
Cantando then drove South on Route 309 and Tollgate Road. That’s where the chase finally came to an end, according to police. Police say Cantando leaned over to the right, put a gun to his head and fired. His car then veered off the road into a ditch.
Police removed Cantando from the car. He was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital in Quakertown where he was pronounced dead.
No police officers were injured in the incident.