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Police capture 'person of interest' whose flight closed Clarence Schools

David Cottom, Sr.
Erie County Sheriff's Department
David Cottom, Sr. is a 'person of interest' sought by the Erie County Sheriff's Department Wednesday morning.

A man who was sought as a 'person of interest' has been taken into custody, but not until after his flight from law enforcers led to the shutdown of Clarence Schools Wednesday.

The Erie County Sheriff's Department tweeted a photograph of David Cottom Sr. about 7 a.m. Wednesday, saying a search was being conducted for him as part of an ongoing incident in the Pineledge Drive and Winding Lane vicinity.

A statement from the sheriff said "a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed nearly struck a sheriff’s vehicle along Main Street in Clarence. While deputies attempted a traffic stop, the operator fled the scene."

The search included multiple deputies, K9 units, the Quick Response Force and Air-1 helicopter, assisted by State Police and the Amherst Police Department.

"At this time, the Sheriff’s Office does not believe the subject is a danger to the public, but believes the individual was despondent at the time of the incident," the statement said.

By 11 a.m., however, the Sheriff's Office confirmed Cottom had been identified and taken into custody.

According to social media, Cottom is a roofer who graduated from Brockport High School and lives in Springville.