The manhunt for suspected cop killer Eric Frein in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania has now had a direct effect on the children of Barrett Township: Halloween is canceled.
According to The Daily Mail, the town at the epicenter of the search for the suspected cop killer has had to cancel all of its Halloween festivities, including kids’ trick-or-treating, the annual 5K Scarecrow Race, and the town’s biggest event of the year – and a tradition going back 50 years – the annual Halloween Parade.
Chairman of the township’s Board of Supervisors, Ralph Megliola told ABC News that the loss of the Halloween parade is going to be felt the most.
“This parade is probably one of the biggest events that the town has every year. Everyone looks forward to the parade. Myself and my family personally have been away and cut our vacation short to get home in time for the parade. Thousands of people line the streets.”
Police are concerned that if Halloween goes ahead, the alleged cop killer could use the opportunity to blend in with adults and kids wearing masks and disguises, possibly giving him a chance to make his escape.
The manhunt for the alleged cop killer, who shot a deputy in cold blood in an ambush at a police barracks on September 12, according to this Inquisitr report, has cast a pall over the town of Barrett Township. Tourism is down in the town that relies heavily on the tourist trade, and businesses are hurting. Hunting restrictions, road blocks, and school closures are commonplace, and it’s not unusual to see police helicopters flying overhead. Parents are afraid to let their children out of the house, said Megliola.
“I’m the father of a 9-year-old. We do things a little differently now. I’m not so comfortable with him going outside and playing anymore. Now we have that question in the back of our mind — is he here? Where is he? Any time you drive through town, it’s not uncommon to see 20 to 40 police cars or a helicopter or two or three flying above.”
Frein is a known survivalist, and is believed to be hiding in the thick woods near the town.
As for the children of Barrett Township, they may yet have a chance to score some candy, just not in the traditional Halloween way: a “Trunk or Treat” is planned for the parking lot of a nearby school.
Megliola says that if Frein is captured before Halloween, the town may reconsider the cancellation.
[Image courtesy of: Boston Magazine]