OFFICER JOHN MONTGOMERY
EVANSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT (INDIANA)
Officers were dispatched to Grandview Towers in reference to an Arson in progress. Dispatch advised that the caller reported that her ex-husband was beating on her door. Moments later, Dispatch provided an update to officers and reported that the caller was now saying that her ex had set her apartment on fire. Dispatch had EFD and AMR respond as well. Upon arrival, Officers and EFD began evacuating residents from the apartment building. The victim was confined to her balcony until the sprinkler system put fire out. While on her balcony, she observed the suspect flee the location in his teal colored Pontiac Sunfire.
As officers were in route to the first fire, a second fire came out at an apartment nearby. This was the residence of the first victim’s mother. The suspect was gone prior to arrival. A short time later, the suspect’s vehicle was found in a ditch in neighboring Posey County. Sheriff’s deputies stayed until Evansville Police could respond with a K9 to attempt to locate him. K9 Handler Drew Murray and K9 Arlo arrived on scene and began tracking the suspect from a nearby grain silo through a field to a wooded area near an adjacent road. K9 Doc and I were called into assist. When I arrived I spoke with deputies on scene who advised that a neighbor had just picked up the suspect from where K9 had tracked to. He had taken him to a residence on St. Joseph Rd about fifteen minutes prior. I contacted police units to go back to the residence on St. Joseph Rd. We arrived on scene and set up a perimeter on the old farm house. There were three residences at an old farm.
The suspect had a history of homicide, arson, firearms and child molesting. Swat was called up to assist with the arrest. While they were being called up, we requested the Evansville Police Drone Unit to come and assist. Several drone pilots arrived on scene and began overhead surveillance of residence with Flir. While officers were waiting, the suspect had a visitor at his residence and drone pilots observed the suspect come out and speak with him shortly before fleeing north from the residence into a wooded area. The EPD Swat team arrived and set up. It was determined that EPD Swat and K9 would begin a tactical track from the residence with the use of drones as overhead watch. Drone pilots located the suspect go into a creek bed area and lay down. K9 and Swat began tracking north from the house and across the field. We could see the drone overhead near the creek. We tracked from the downwind side and encountered large creek. I went into a washout area of the creek with a swat member as the team began pushing east into the tree line. I deployed K9 Doc from the downwind from the last point seen. K9 Doc went east across the creek and then appeared to wind someone. Swat personnel began giving commands through the PA from a bearcat 400 yards north of our location. Shortly after that, a swat member on the left flank called contact near the location K9 Doc was at. I was able to put K9 Doc in a down position about 5 yards from the suspect. The suspect was standing on the ridge with his empty hands in the air. I left K9 Doc in a down by the suspect until Swat operators could flank the suspect. When swat was in position, I recalled K9 Doc to my position. Swat continued giving the suspect loud verbal commands bringing him across the creek to our position and was taken into custody without incident. This was a great effort by all involved including Evansville Police Department Swat Team, Evansville Police Drone Unit, Evansville K9 Unit and Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office.