Deputies conduct manhunt in Romulus area

A high-speed pursuit turned into a manhunt in the Romulus area of southern Pottawatomie County Tuesday afternoon. The massive search was called off about 5 p.m., but a tip about a man knocking on doors of homes later in the evening led to a rejuvenated search. Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said it began as Deputy Scott Hawkins was working patrol in Macomb Tuesday afternoon, where there had been several lawn mowers reported stolen Monday. The deputy noticed a suspicious vehicle, the sheriff said, and its brake lights were out. Hawkins attempted a traffic stop of that vehicle, but the driver “took off,” he said, as the pursuit continued to SH 102. “The vehicle was exceeding 100 miles per hour,” the sheriff said. Near Romulus Lake, the vehicle came to a stop and slid off the roadway, he said, and the deputy said he saw two male suspects running from the vehicle into the woods. Deputies, including a K-9 as well as a reserve K-9 unit, converged to the area and set up a perimeter. The dogs tracked the suspects to a creek, but from there, Booth said the suspects got to a marshy area and couldn’t be located. Booth said the suspects appeared to be in their 20s and one was wearing a ball cap. Deputies did impound the vehicle, which had property inside that is possibly stolen, Booth said. That investigation is ongoing, and the sheriff said he figures a burglary report may be filed that will match those items. Deputies continued area patrols through the evening and hoped the suspects would surface. About 8 p.m., a call to the sheriff’s office reported a stranger had knocked on someone’s door, asking to use the phone. Several deputies converged to check out that tip to see if it was possibly the suspect or suspects. At press time, the search was ongoing. Anyone with information should call the sheriff’s office, 273-1727.