A gunman, Phillip Michael Stroupe III, held up two mountain bikers at gunpoint in Pisgah National Forest, NC on Saturday and stole their bike, according to the Transylvania Times.
These two bikers were riding up Forest Road 477 when they heard sirens for 10 minutes before they heard and saw a fast moving car pass them. The driver then stopped quickly, pulled a gun on one of bikers, and took his bike.
“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.'” – Aaron Fischer, biker
video of Aaron and Chris Swann of Athens, Georgia discussing the armed robbery
Aaron handed over his bike then both bikers jumped off the road down into the bush and began running away from the gunman.
The police showed up less than a minute later. They exchanged info with the two bikers before continuing their pursuit of the gunman.
The police were unable to find the gunman.
latest report from local Sheriff’s department on July 23rd.
Phillip Michael Stroupe III is still at large as of this writing and is considered armed and dangerous.
According to the Transylvania Times, there is currently a manhunt for Stroupe in the Avery Creek and Yellow Gap area of the Pisgah National Forest, NC.
“Stroupe is on a stolen – black in color – Giant Reign full suspension mountain bike, likely with no helmet.
Law enforcement is searching for Stroupe in the Avery Creek and Yellow Gap area of the forest. Access in to the forest is blocked by law enforcement.
Stroupe is wanted in Buncombe County for alleged kidnapping. He is a white male, age 30 to 40 years old, with tattoos on his neck.” – Transylvania Times
The manhunt for the suspect is proving more difficult than anticipated due to bad weather, fog, difficult terrain. Police believe that the suspect is still on a mountain bike in Pisgah National Forest.
Many of the mountain bike trails are currently closed which has been a crushing blow to the local mountain bike community.
According to WFMYNews2.com, The Hub Bike Shop has lost about $15,000 in sales in only 3 days due to the manhunt and subsequent closure of the park and trails.
“This is huge for us. July is one of the only times we actually make money.” – Jordan Salman, an employee at The Hub told WFMYNews2.com
Stroupe was accused of armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon on a government official in Weaverville, NC last month.