Police in Frick

An Eventful Hike in Frick Park

Summer in Appalachia means it’s hiking time. I went to REI, purchased the Best Hikes Near Pittsburgh Falcon Guide, and unpacked my gear.

On Thursday, I went for a shakeout hike on Frick Park, which is just down the street from my apartment. Since I regularly walk Maxx the dog along the trails, Frick felt a like an easy way to get to test my equipment and get to know the Guide.

Lawn Bowling at Frick Park

Carolyn gave me a demonstration on how lawn bowling works.

The nice part about using guidebooks is that you find new treasures in familiar places.

One particular landmark caught my attention: the Lawn Bowling Greens.

The greens sat on a trail I regularly hiked. Yet, I’d never seen them. As I’m wont to do when I am familiar with trails, I stopped paying close attention to the guide’s directions. Instead, I went into auto-pilot and very nearly missed a turn because I knew where the guide wanted me to end up.

(Pro-tip: Don’t read too far ahead!)

I backtracked once I realized my error and found my way to the Frick Park Lawn Bowling Greens where I met Carolyn, who was there to help teach the Thursday night beginners lesson. (The Frick Park Lawn Bowling Club offers introductory lessons every Thursday from 7-9 pm.)

What happened next wasn’t in the guidebook.

The few miles were uneventful save for a few missed trails.

As I approached the final ascent to the Frick Environmental Center where I began the hike, a plain-clothed police officer appeared around from around the corner in front of me. He was talking into his walkie-talkie. His gun was holstered.

“Do you know where the blue slide is,” he asked. (The Blue Slide Park is a landmark.)

I didn’t, I told him. I was on a new trail and couldn’t quite orient myself in the park. He ran past. A few seconds later, a uniformed police officer approached.

As he walked by, the trail split into a Y. That split helped me determine our location using the map. I turned around to tell the officers how to get to the blue slide, which was in the opposite direction from where they had been running before I continued on my way.

Eventful: Police Cars in Frick

Things you don’t expect to see on your hike: police cars. Five of them — marked and unmarked — showed up on the trail.

They followed me back although I wasn’t sure why. Until I turned the last corner on the trail.

As I made my way up Ravine Trail, I came across two police cars near the mid-way point and then another three at the top.

All told more than a dozen plain-clothed and uniformed officers and two police dogs walked past me, heading toward the pavilion at the Falls Ravine Trail.

“Just taking a little stroll in the park,” said one of the officers as he walked past. He looked to be in his late fifties, a full grey mustache, grey hair, and tinted Aviator sunglasses.

I smiled but didn’t say anything. They were busy, and I wanted to get out of the park.

I did hear one of the officers say that they “were heading for the car at the bottom of the trail.”

I got home and scanned Twitter and the local news sites for any information. I found nothing. (I even tweeted all the news stations asking for any information. Still waiting for a response.)

Fortunately, Reddit is a thing.

Turns out two people stole a car, dumped a gun, and stashed the car in Frick. The cops chased them down and arrested them at the blue slide! 

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