Suspicious vehicle report sparks pursuit, nets 3 arrests in Bethel





An area resident’s call to the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday about a suspicious vehicle near Bethel turned into a brief pursuit and ended with three arrests.

Undersheriff Travis Palmer credits those arrests to the alert resident and urges others to contact authorities about suspicious activity.
The concerned citizen from Bethel alerted deputies about the suspicious vehicle in the area of Betty Drive and Waco Road.
Deputy Veronica Stidham responded and spotted that vehicle, Palmer said, and noticed several items in the back of that vehicle.
When the driver reportedly ran a stop sign, the deputy tried to initiate a traffic stop, which turned into a two-mile pursuit instead, Palmer said, ending with the driver fleeing on foot.

The deputy held two passengers at gunpoint until back-up deputies arrived, Palmer said, then deputies set up a manhunt perimeter in search of the driver.

A gun that was reportedly thrown from the vehicle during the chase was found, Palmer said.
The manhunt ended with the suspected driver in custody behind a relative’s home about a mile from the where the pursuit had ended, he said.
Palmer said a smoker grill in the back of the vehicle had been stolen. Deputies also identified a stolen vehicle from Oklahoma City, which had switched plates, as part of this case.

Arrested on a complaint of possession of stolen property was the driver, Travis Pacheco, 34, Palmer said. He was being held in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center Wednesday night, awaiting an initial court appearance today.

Jail records show Pacheco was being held on a failure to appear warrant for a 2016 case of possession of a firearm after former felony conviction.
His passengers — Brandon J. Scalf, 36, and Tyler Wayne Perry McCune, 22, and also were arrested and were jailed Wednesday night, Palmer said. Jail records show Scalf was being held on a warrant while McCune was being held on a complaint of receiving/possession of stolen property.
Formal charges have not been filed in Wednesday’s incident, but case reports will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office for consideration.
Palmer said deputies wish to thank the anonymous person and said the Sheriff encourages other residents to alert them of any suspicious activity.

Manhunt suspect charged

A Tecumseh man arrested at the end of a manhunt May 6 after allegedly surrendering to police wearing his own handcuffs now faces nine charges, seven of them felonies.
Charles Bryan Wilson, 33, is charged in Pottawatomie County District Court with burglary in the first degree, two counts of feloniously pointing a firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, kidnapping, manufacture of controlled dangerous substance and possession of a firearm after a former conviction.
He also faces misdemeanor charges of assault and battery and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
Multiple law enforcement agencies worked the manhunt east of Tecumseh following a series of events involving Wilson and his reported ex-wife, authorities said.
Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said it all began with word that Wilson was en route from the Pink area to Shawnee and was allegedly making threats to kill his ex-wife. That woman left her home and went to stay with friends at a residence near SH 9 and South Rock Creek Road, Palmer said.
Palmer said Wilson showed up at that home overnight with a shotgun and allegedly kicked in the front door of that home, then dragged his ex-wife out to his truck. Before they could leave, the ex-wife was able to jump out of the pickup. As law enforcement became involved in searching that area for Wilson overnight, Palmer said authorities went to his home and also found what appeared to be a methamphetamine lab there.
As everything began to unfold by 4 a.m., deputies traced a call that Wilson allegedly made after breaking into Rath’s Auto Salvage east of Tecumseh, where a massive manhunt originated about 7 a.m. A perimeter was set up as officers and deputies from multiple agencies scoured the salvage yard and nearby woods, using several police dogs.
When deputies found Wilson just before noon that day, he apparently had his own set of handcuffs with him, Palmer said, and surrendered to his knees with his wrists cuffed in front of him.
As far as the charges, Wilson is accused of kicking in the front door of the home on May 6. He’s also accused of kidnapping his ex-wife from that same home with intent to cause her to be confined against her will. For the two counts of feloniously pointing a firearm, he is accused of pointing a shotgun at a man there and at his ex-wife.
He’s also accused of manufacturing methamphetamine at his home and for being a felon is possession of a pistol.
Wilson remained jailed on $100,000 bond Wednesday night at the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center. His next court date is set for June 4.
If convicted of the charges, punishment ranges vary from one to 20 years in prison for each of the nine counts filed, and up to a $50,000 fine for manufacturing methamphetamine.