Report: Sex assault suspect took pills, tried cutting himself when caught by officers


    A man accused of sexually assaulting a teen girl and leading local and state police on a chase tried to commit suicide before being arrested by police. (Photo: Altoona Police Department)

    A man accused of sexually assaulting a teen girl and leading local and state police on a chase tried to commit suicide before being arrested by police, a criminal complaint said.

    According to the complaint, 31-year-old Jonathan Burd was arrested in late November after police issued a missing person alert for a 15-year-old girl he was known to be sexually involved with.

    The complaint said Burd and the girl had been missing for over 24 hours before being found by authorities.

    According to the complaint, Burd told the teen he wanted to kill himself because of past sexual allegations against him. In an attempt to keep him from doing so, the teen told Burd she would run away with him, the complaint said.

    Police said the teen washed and packed some of Burd's clothes that had been left at her room and packed supplies for their trip. Burd arrived at her house the next morning and picked her up, the complaint said.

    The complaint said Burd and the teen didn't have official plans on where they wanted to go but stopped to sleep for the night in Burd's car and also had sex.

    The next day the two were spotted driving in Blair County by police, and a high-speed pursuit began. According to the complaint, the victim repeatedly asked Burd to pull over, but he refused, shouting that he wanted to die. The complaint said during the chase, Burd swallowed a baggie full of drugs and tried cutting himself with knives.

    The chase eventually led to a crash, and Burd was taken into custody, police said. The teen was examined for injuries, but wasn't seriously hurt.

    Burd remains in the Blair County Jail on various charges, including sexual assault, corruption of minors and interfering with the custody of a child. His bail was set at $250,000.

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