Man hides under Oklahoma City house to avoid arrestHombre que se esconde bajo la casa de la ciudad de Oklahoma para evitar la detenciónFriday, June 10th, 2011
A man who avoided police for more than 12 hours Sunday by hiding underneath a house west of downtown Oklahoma City was arrested without incident.
Oklahoma City police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said the man was taken into custody by Oklahoma City University police.
Francis Eugene Jones, 30, of Oklahoma City, was taken to a hospital for examination before being taken to jail.
Jones has had previous trouble with Oklahoma County law enforcement, including 2007 convictions on unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of methamphetamine and concealing stolen property. He also was convicted in 2005 of attempting to elude police, second degree burglary, carrying a weapon and possession of marijuana.
The incident began when an Oklahoma City University police officer pulled over a pickup with defective lights about 5:30 a.m. near NW 23 and
Kentucky Avenue, city police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.
A dispatcher told the officer the car was stolen, and the man sped away, leading officers on a chase before he bailed out near NW 6 and McKinley Avenue.
The man ran to an unoccupied house at 1607 NW 6 and hid underneath it, Knight said.
Tactical officers tried several methods to get the man to come out, but he remained holed up underneath the house despite sweltering heat.
Police could be heard intermittently using a bullhorn to attempt to communicate with the man, and irritant gas used to try to flush him out stung the eyes and nostrils of observers blocks away.
The man also fought off a police dog that tried to get him to come out, Knight said. The dog was not injured.
Late in the afternoon, officers began cutting holes in the floors of the house.
They used a camera to locate the hiding man, who continued to move around beneath the house to avoid detection, Wardlow said.
“As they cut holes in the floor, some of the officers actually were in there themselves trying to get him to come one way or another and as he moved around, he ended up coming directly towards our officers, who were able to take him into custody,” she said.
The man was not armed. He was taken into custody without incident about 6 p.m., Wardlow said.
No evacuations were ordered, though roads in the area were cordoned off through the duration of the incident.
The number of officers on the scene and the cost of the police operations were not available Sunday.
Kevin Hillhouse, 53, of Edmond, said police called him early Sunday morning to tell him they recovered his stolen truck. The truck remained where the man ditched it until it was towed away at the conclusion of the standoff.
Hillhouse said he uses the pickup for work, and whoever stole it spray painted it white with cans that are still in the bed.
“It’s just a work truck. It could be worse,” Hillhouse said.
The pickup was parked at his business when it was stolen about two weeks ago, he said.
Deborah Chesser had moved most of her belongings out of 1607 NW 6 last week. She found officers surrounding the house when she came to collect a few items and her computer Sunday morning, she said.
Chesser’s daughter, Katie, had leased the house, but moved to Shawnee for a new job. Chesser moved to another home in south Oklahoma City.
“It’s been a long day of waiting for them to get the guy out from under the house,” Chesser said. “It’s pretty full of gas in there so it’s hard to go in and get things right now,” Chesser said about sundown.
“They’re going to have to do a lot of repairs,” she said.
Officers told her the man ran into the backyard of the home and entered an open crawlspace.
Chesser said yesterday the home was carpeted, but now the floor in the living room and each bedroom had at least one hole cut into it.
“Now it looks like Swiss cheese, basically,” she said.
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