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Troopers on Hanshue Photo: Andrew Dresher.

Troopers on Hanshue Photo: Andrew Dresher.

Early in the morning of Thursday, May 31, the Pennsylvania State Police attempted to arrest 44-year-old Gerald Matthew Thompson at his home on Hanshue Road in South Hanover Township.

There, they found Thompson’s family.

Then, somehow, someway, things quickly went sideways.

And the PSP, which covers South Hanover Township, responded with an impressive display of its considerable post-9/11 capabilities.

We counted more than 20 cruisers.

Plus command vehicles.

And an armored vehicle.

And a couple of robots.

And shotguns. And rifles.

And lots of troopers wearing lots of armor.

Including one sniper who stripped down to his skivvies in the middle of the street so he could put on his Ghillie suit.

(Yes, ladies, you would have enjoyed it.)

There were loudspeakers.

There were loud noises – from gas grenades, “flash bangs” and breaking woodwork.

Oh, and did I mention the PSP helicopter?

By mid-afternoon, when the troopers finally ended their siege, everything was there.

Except Gerald Matthew Thompson.

Apparently, he was in Maryland.

And he quietly appeared the next day for a previously scheduled hearing at District Judge Pelino’s office where he was peacefully taken into custody by a Derry Township officer.

Still, Thompson’s record includes charges for everything from passing bad checks to illegal firearms possession to witness intimidation.

Plus, PSP Trooper Ed Asbury told The Sun, “Family members wouldn’t say a word. The whole incident would have been avoided if they would have been willing to work with police.”

For our part, we work with police every day. We know how difficult and dangerous the job is, and we’re inclined to give the cops the benefit of the doubt.

And so, we’ll let our readers argue over whether PSP’s response was a proportionate and appropriate use of limited resources.

What you can’t debate is this fact:

While the good guys – and lots of ‘em – were on Hanshue Road, the alleged bad guy was somewhere else.



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