By MIRANDA ORSO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — The triple-homicide suspect wanted in connection with a fatal house fire in Quebec was arrested early Sunday morning in Florida.
Justin Bresaw, 35, who passed through the North Country in mid-September as authorities searched for him far and wide, was spotted using a laptop behind a church in Tallahassee, CBC news said.
When Sgt. Sam Gereg of the Tallahassee Police Department approached Bresaw, CBC said, he told the officer his name was “Jon Colman,” and then tried to flee on foot but was held back, according to police spokesman Officer Dave Northway.
“The man started to try and get away,” Northway told CBC News. “He took a step or two. Sgt. Gereg got a hold of Mr. — what he thought was Mr. Colman at this time but turned out to be Mr. Bresaw —and they got into ... a very good, hard, long fight.”
FLED ACROSS BORDER
Bresaw faces three counts of first-degree murder in Quebec, where a Sept. 19 house fire killed three people in Amos, about 310 miles northwest of Montreal. It was thought he fled in a stolen blue 2001 Honda Civic, which was found Sept. 20 in Havelock, Quebec, about 6 miles north of the Cannon’s Corners port of entry in the Town of Mooers.
State Police and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol confirmed that Bresaw was spotted in Mooers and Plattsburgh on Sept. 17 and that he had left the area.
In Florida, police weren’t aware of Bresaw’s true identity until after he was apprehended.
CBC said the man tried to grab weapons on Gereg’s belt, and when the police officer fell, striking a metal post and breaking his nose, Bresaw fled.
Police brought in a helicopter and K9 unit, finding Bresaw three hours later hiding under a house.
A police dog bit the man as he was subdued.
CBC said Bresaw faces charges in Florida, including burglary, battery of a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.
Proceedings to extradite him to Quebec were under way, but the charges in Florida could slow that process, CBC said.
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.