New details are emerging on why a man went on a rampant crime spree Thursday. From Lancaster to Cumberland and Dauphin Counties, that included taking 4 people hostage. Joseph Aldinger is being held on $2 million bail. Dauphin County District Attorney, Ed Marsico, says he hasn’t seen a crime spree quite like this before, and he says his actions may have been caused by drugs.
Our cameras were rolling as police carried Joseph Aldinger out of the Salvation Army store that he ran into after he fled a home on Devonshire Road in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County. But his crime spree began hours before.
"A very unusual situation where you have a violent crime spree that spanned three different counties," says Marsico.
Marsico says Aldinger stole a car in Lancaster County and drove it to Cumberland County. That's where he entered into a man's home at gunpoint and forced him to drive him to a location in Harrisburg. Marsico says that man he abducted happens to be a corrections officer in Cumberland County. He was able to escape from Aldinger's custody without any harm. From there, court documents state that Aldinger robbed a store and entered a law firm where he flashed a gun at a receptionist. He also attempted to take her vehicle but was unsuccessful. Marsico says he then ran into a home on Devonshire Road where he held four people hostage for hours. He believes he committed some of the crimes to feed his addiction to meth and heroin.
"We think of drug possession of a non violent crime but the spinoff is often a violent crime, someone feeding that addiction, trying to get high," says Marsico.
People negotiated with Aldinger for hours. At one point they thought he was going to surrender, but instead he fled, flashing his weapon several times. Marsico credits the emergency response team for keeping the public safe and capturing Aldinger without the need to use deadly force.
They're taught to be patient, to rely on their negotiators, and in this case the negotiators went from the command van where they normally are talking on the phone - he wanted to see them face to face so they put themselves in danger," says Aldinger.
All together Aldinger faces close to 20 charges. It could land him several years in prison.