A routine mountain bike ride in Pisgah National Forest turned into a nightmare scenario for two Georgia men today when they were held at gunpoint by a man fleeing police.
Aaron Fischer and Chris Swann of Athens, Georgia were climbing Forest Road 477 when they heard sirens and the unmistakable sound of tires tearing through gravel at high speeds.
Shortly thereafter, Fischer was confronted by the driver of a vehicle that was clearly being pursued by police. The driver slammed on his brakes, exited the vehicle, and pointed a revolver at Fischer’s chest.
“As soon as he passed me, he slammed on the brakes, he jumped out of the car, he puts a revolver to my chest and says ‘Give me your ‘effing bike,” Fisher later told the Transylvania Times in a video interview at the Hub and Pisgah Tavern where Swann had rented a biked before the ride. Fischer then handed his bike over to the man and sought refuge in the nearby forest.
According to Swann and Fischer, it was less than a minute until the pursuing officer arrived and questioned them about the suspect. After obtaining information from Swann and Fischer, he continued his pursuit.
The suspect has now been identified by Transylvania County authorities as Buncombe County resident Phillip Michael Stroupe II, and, according to the Transylvania Times, there is now a manhunt under way as law enforcement agents search for Stroupe in the Avery Creek and Yellow Gap area of the Pisgah National Forest.
Stroupe is wanted in Buncombe County for an alleged kidnapping.