(CANADENSIS, Pa.) — The man stopped over 20 times by police because of his resemblance to accused cop killer Eric Frein has a reason to celebrate: two weeks after the manhunt came to an end, community donations have bought him a car for his journey to work.
James Tully of Canadensis, Pennsylvania, was stopped repeatedly by law enforcement during the 48-day manhunt for Frein in eastern Pennsylvania as he walked to and from work. Treading along the wooded roads of the Poconos while resembling the suspect, Tully constantly drew the attention of a law enforcement community on edge after Frein’s alleged deadly attack that killed one state trooper and injured another.
In one especially tense encounter, an officer drew a rifle on Tully and forced him to the ground. Tully said he feared for his life until another trooper intervened after recognizing him from a previous stop.
“I was just trying to do what I have to do every day: go to work, pay my bills and make sure my child support was taken care of,” Tully told Pennsylvania-based ABC affiliate WNEP. “I never expected anything like this.”
Tully, who did not own a car and could not afford gas, began wearing his work identification around his neck and donned a highlighter yellow reflective vest to ward off suspicion during his treks.
Now, his days of trudging through the Poconos on foot may be over. A campaign through the online fundraising site GoFundMe raised over $24,000 for Tully, which he’s put toward a used 2007 Subaru Outback. The leftover cash will go towards the car’s maintenance, insurance and gas.
The campaign was started by Dawn DeBiase, of nearby East Stroudsburg, who said she wanted to get Tully “a reliable car able to handle the rough [Pennsylvania] roads and hills he lives on,” according to the campaign’s GoFundMe page.
“Everybody loves James and his story,” DeBiase told WNEP.
“I’m truly overwhelmed by the community’s support and everything,” Tully said. “I want to thank everyone for their support.”
The campaign has attracted donations from 997 people and has been shared over 3,400 times on social media.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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