palmer

Weather Conditions Still Treacherous

All Pottawatomie County roads remained slick and hazardous and many were littered with stalled vehicles Wednesday, so officials are still urging people to stay home.

Don Lynch, Shawnee/Pottawatomie County emergency management director, said the stalled cars are making it difficult for crews to clear roadways, and continuing northerly winds Wednesday were expected to lead to further drifting. Several road closures remained mid-day Wednesday, including the southbound on-ramp to U.S. 177 from Kickapoo Spur and the northbound U.S. 177 off-ramp to Farrall Street, both because of abandoned vehicles, Lynch said.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said he still was discouraging travel Wednesday as deputies, with four-wheel drive units, were having difficulty maneuvering roadways. “The highways are snow-packed and the east and west roads are full of snow drifts,” Palmer said, after making his way up U.S. 177 from Asher. “And the wind child out here is brutal.” And while the sun was shining Wednesday, Palmer said people shouldn’t get a false sense of security because nothing was melting. “Unless it’s an extreme emergency, don’t get out,” Palmer said, adding wrecker services were hours behind getting people unstuck after they chose to get out. There hadn’t been any reports of major accidents or injuries related to the storm, he said, but wanted to urge caution for those “playing” in the snow. A woman was killed in Oklahoma City Tuesday night, Palmer said, while being pulled behind a vehicle on some type of fashioned-sled. He advises against doing that, as there’s no control over that object in the snow. “It’s fun, but I don’t think people realize how dangerous that is,” Palmer said, encouraging everyone to have fun, but to do so in a safe manner.

Lynch said city of Shawnee street crews were continuing to plow major streets, adding most major streets have at least one lane open in both directions, but all secondary streets remained snow packed and treacherous. “We continue to urge people to stay off the roads unless it is an absolute emergency,” Lynch said. No major power outages were reported as of mid-Wednesday, although there were some reports of water pressure issues in the city of Tecumseh. A vehicle wreck damaged a fire hydrant on North Broadway Tuesday night, Lynch reported, resulting in a water line failure and low water pressure. The line break has been repaired but during the process an electrical problem occurred at the water treatment plant. Demand Wednesday morning created a situation of nearly no water pressure in Tecumseh. Crews reportedly got the electrical service restored and the pumps started, but as tanks are filling, water pressure is low, said Melvin Potter, Tecumseh’s emergency manager and E-911 director.

Both the E-911 center and city of Tecumseh were being flooded with calls reporting water issues. Potter said they’ve had numerous calls relating to the water issues and people asking about road conditions.  “We have had no major problems reported besides some semi-trucks tying up traffic,” Potter said.

Tecumseh Assistant Police Chief J.R. Kidney said main roads were somewhat better Wednesday, but secondary roads remained treacherous and several vehicles continued to get stuck. “It’s still 12 degrees,” Kidney said Wednesday afternoon. “Even though the sun is out, everything is still frozen and slick.”

The winter storm closed a number of businesses.

The Shawnee Fire Department responded with REACT EMS to calls and responded to one residential smoke alarm activation, with REACT responding to nine calls since midnight.

Greg Reid, director of REACT EMS, said most of the calls were for people who couldn’t drive themselves to the hospital, including a woman in labor. Two women were taken to the hospital for labor Tuesday.  Overall, Reid said mid-Wednesday things had been going fairly well, but said even the large ambulances were sometimes getting stuck on snow-packed roadways, so he still advises motorists to stay home. Luckily, paramedics hadn’t responded to any calls of hypothermia in these conditions, he said.

Lynch reports the cities of Asher and Maud had similar road issues.  The Shawnee Police Department responded since midnight to at least four non-injury accidents.

Deputy injured in crash while responding to fatal pedestrian accident

A Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputy was injured in a crash Monday afternoon while he was responding to the scene of a pedestrian accident that resulted in the death of that victim. The first accident involving the pedestrian was reported about 11:52 a.m. in the 8400 block of Brangus Road. About five minutes later, the accident involving the sheriff’s deputy was reported at Garrett’s Lake Road and Kickapoo Street.
Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe sheriff’s unit when that accident occurred. Palmer, who was eastbound on Garrett’s Lake Road, was en route to the Brangus Road accident to assist another deputy, said Shawnee Police Lt. Tom Pringle.
At the intersection, his unit collided with a Ford Mustang driven southbound on Kickapoo Street by a 17-year-old driver, Pringle said. Her name was not being released.

Palmer, who was trapped in the wreckage, was extricated by Shawnee firefighters and taken by REACT EMS ambulance to Unity Health Center, North Campus. There, he was treated for facial lacerations and a vertebrae injury, Pringle said, then was transferred by helicopter ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital for further treatment.

Pringle said the teen’s parents took her by private vehicle to Midwest City Regional Hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
Shawnee Patrol Officer Jay Keehn worked the scene and police are investigating, Pringle said, with Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers assisting with measurements and diagrams of the collision.

At Unity’s ER, fellow deputies and police officers from various agencies arrived to check on Palmer, said Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth.

Booth, also at the hospital, said Palmer was traveling “Code 3,” at the time of the accident, which meant he had activated lights and sirens in response to the emergency call.
“He was on the way to help someone,” the sheriff said. “Sometimes these things happen — we know that when we’re putting on the badge.”
Booth said Palmer was awake at the hospital and was concerned for others as he asked Booth about the other driver, as well as the pedestrian he was trying to go help.

Other deputies and state troopers worked the pedestrian accident on Brangus Road, where a man who was getting out of his vehicle was hit by that vehicle and reportedly died from his injuries, according to scanner reports.

That accident was determined to be on trust land, so Sac and Fox Nation Police were investigating that accident. No other information or the identity of the person involved in the fatal accident could be obtained from Sac and Fox tribal police as phone messages were not returned.

Wanette burglary solved, property returned

An overnight burglary at Wanette Tractor and Supply was solved within hours Wednesday after two suspects were arrested and the stolen property was recovered. Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said the burglary was discovered upon opening the store Wednesday morning. The burglars pried open a door and took a laptop computer used by the business, Palmer said.  Deputy Scott Hawkins worked the case. Using evidence collected at the scene, Hawkins was able to identify two suspects and had both of them in custody by that afternoon, Palmer said. The computer also was recovered and returned to the business.  Arrested on complaints of burglary, second degree, were Jared Wilson, 19, and Brad Baxter, 20, Palmer said. Both remained jailed at the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center Friday, each held on $10,000 bond. Wilson also was held on a complaint of possession of stolen property, according to jail records. Palmer said Hawkins did a good job working the case, which will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office for consideration of any formal charges.

New developments in Saint Louis shooting

An investigation into a fatal shooting in Saint Louis Saturday evening is continuing as detectives conduct interviews and await firearm testing to prepare the case for review by the district attorney, who may have to determine if the case falls under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Timmy Jordan, 46, died as a result of the shooting. Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Investigator Mike Carnell said the shooting occurred in the Saint Louis area at 32290 Brangus Road, which is the residence of Ricky Wallgren Jr.
The investigation is still ongoing. Preliminary reports from the probe now indicate Wallgren was out in his yard when he saw a 4-wheeler occupied by Jordan and his 11-year-old son pull up to the gate of his residence, which had a large stop sign and a “no trespassing” sign, Carnell said.
Jordan and his son allegedly climbed the gate onto Wallgren’s property and walked about 155 feet up the driveway, Carnell said, with Jordan carrying a bag with a visible green leafy plant believed to be marijuana.
When Jordan confronted Wallgren, Carnell said Wallgren told Jordan to leave the property. Wallgren’s children were at home, but were told to go inside the house, he said.
During the confrontation, Carnell said it appears Jordan reached into the bag he was carrying and pulled out a .380 caliber pistol. A short scuffle over the gun ensued, resulting in Wallgren getting the weapon away from Jordan, the detective said.
When Jordan allegedly went after Wallgren, Carnell said the homeowner reportedly fired the pistol twice, hitting Jordan in the head. Jordan died at the scene.
Authorities are conducting interviews and following all leads in probing this case. Carnell said while the men were acquainted, the incident may have had something to do with a previous assault involving Jordan and a member of Wallgren’s family.
Sheriff’s investigators have sent the pistol to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for trace-testing and for fingerprint tests on the gun, the magazine and the bullets, Carnell said.
Because a homicide involves the death of a person at the hands of another, this case is being investigated as a homicide, officers said.
Wallgren has not been arrested in connection with the shooting, Carnell said, because this case could possibly fall under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. That laws specifies that people can use deadly force if they believe they are in danger in any place where they have a legal right to be. That same law also prevents authorities from arresting persons in these types of circumstances, Carnell said, so Wallgren was questioned about the incident, then released.
It will be up to the district attorney’s office to determine whether this shooting falls under the “Stand Your Ground” law, and whether any charges will be filed.
Sheriff Mike Booth said they are being proactive and following all evidence in this investigation.
“We’ll collect as much evidence as we can and submit it to the district attorney’s office,” Booth said.
Jordan was a lifelong Saint Louis resident. Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday in Konawa. Watch for further updates as they become available.

Woman surrenders to deputies after threatening suicide, pointing weapon at them

Six Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies kept a level head and held their fire when a Pink woman who had been threatening suicide pointed a weapon at them earlier this week. After negotiations, the woman surrendered and dropped the weapon, which looked like a 9 mm black pistol, but was actually a BB gun. Capt. Travis Palmer said the woman, whose name is not being released, called 911 and said she was armed with a 9 mm pistol and was going to kill herself. The E-911 center in Tecumseh was able to track her call to the Pink area, Palmer said, and Deputy Johnny Austin began negotiations with her over the phone for about one hour. Palmer said deputies used the tracking system to pinpoint the general area of her location, but they weren’t sure exactly which residence she was calling from. Several deputies responded to that general area. The woman said she was going to kill herself or force deputies to kill her as Austin continued phone negotiations. About 30 minutes later, she agreed to come out of the house. Deputies Randy Willis, Jimmy Brewer, Scott Hawkins, Brian Wolfe and Palmer went to the home with Austin and REACT EMS paramedics were at the scene in a standby mode, he said. The woman, reported to be in her 40s, didn’t come out of the home they expected and exited a nearby travel trailer, Palmer said. She took a stance and pointed her weapon at all six deputies, and while they are trained to protect their lives from shooters, none of them fired their sidearms. “I was proud of them — they took cover” behind one patrol car, Palmer said, as negotiations continued. Deputies were a distance away as the woman put the gun to her head and then pointed it at the deputies again, he said, then there was more negotiations. Austin kept talking to her, Palmer said, and the woman eventually decided to throw the weapon a few feet away from her. She was taken into custody to be medically checked and undergo evaluation, Palmer said. In the end, deputies learned the black pistol, which looked just like a 9 mm handgun, was a BB gun, “but we didn’t know that at the time,” Palmer said. Any of the deputies could have shot her to protect their own lives, he said, but none did. “The officers were professional and held their fire. I don’t know why,” he said. “The guys did a tremendous job,” Palmer added, praising Austin’s negotiation efforts. Palmer also said dispatchers at the 911 center did a great job of coordinating dispatch efforts as the deputies worked the scene. Afterward, all of the deputies were debriefed about the experience. Sheriff Mike Booth said they’ve all asked why none of them shot the woman. He said something — maybe “intuition” — stopped them. And just like officers are trained and subconsciously pull their sidearms when someone threatens or points a weapon at them, Booth said sometimes deputies pull their guns and can tell something’s not quite right. Undersheriff Dave Balleweg said there was great teamwork involved at the scene. In the end, what mattered was that no one was hurt and the woman’s life, despite her desire to end it, was spared

Methamphetamine arrests keep authorities busy

Six people were arrested Saturday night after sheriff’s deputies went to a Shawnee home to serve a felony arrest warrant and ended up finding about 25 grams of methamphetamine. In a separate case the same night, Shawnee police officers arrested a suspect after finding a meth lab at another Shawnee home.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said deputies from Seminole County came to Shawnee to serve an outstanding drug court warrant. Shawnee police officers were tied up on other calls, Palmer said, so Pottawatomie County Deputies Eric Fletcher and Joe Leeds, with his K-9 Judo, went with Seminole deputies to a home at 218 W. 35th Street.

When deputies approached the house about 7:40 p.m. and knocked on the front door, he said one person tried to leave out the back door but was deterred by Leeds’ drug dog.
Palmer said they could see meth everywhere inside that house. The owner of the home gave deputies a consent to search; about 25 grams of methamphetmaine was found and seized, along with scales, syringes and baggies, Palmer said.

Six people inside that home were arrested at the scene. Palmer said five of them went to the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center on drug-related complaints and a female suspect was turned over to Seminole County deputies because of an arrest warrant from that county.  “Twenty-five grams is a lot of meth to take off the streets,” Palmer said.
The case will be turned over to the district attorney for consideration of charges.

A short time later, Deputies Fletcher and Leeds made another drug arrest near that area.
Fletcher made a traffic stop at Kickapoo and MacArthur streets because a vehicle had no tail lights, Palmer said. Deputy Leeds and Judo also stopped, Palmer said, and Judo alerted to narcotics on the vehicle. After a search, about 9 grams of meth was found in that vehicle, Palmer said. The driver, a Prague man, was arrested on drug-related complaints.

Shawnee police officers also found a methamphetamine lab Saturday night at 1136 E. Main.  Shawnee Officer Jeb Rollins and Cpl. John Goss received information about a meth lab, so a search warrant was obtained for that home.

During a search, officers found remains and chemicals of a meth lab and one suspect was arrested. The District Attorney’s Drug Task Force assisted with the packaging and clean up of the toxic substances at that scene.

Man jailed for allegedly stealing truck

A Noble man is jailed on numerous complaints including possession of a stolen vehicle after allegedly stealing a pickup in the Bethel Acres area and running it off the road miles away.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said deputies received information late Friday night about a 2007 Dodge pickup being stolen while its driver was in a store at SH 102 and Hardesty Road.

The owner reported he had firearms in that truck, according to scanner reports, so deputies and law enforcement officers were advised to be on the lookout for the truck as a search began.

Deputy Ray Ingram, who was on his way to a call in the southern part of the county, was southbound on SH 102 about six miles south of SH 9 when he encountered a man walking in that area, Palmer said. The man appeared injured.

Upon further check, the man, later identified at Stephen Anderson, 49, had two loaded pistols in his pocket, Palmer said.   A pickup that turned out to be the stolen pickup that authorities were searching for was found a short distance up the road, and there was blood in that vehicle, Palmer said, which was consistent to Anderson’s injuries.  Palmer said the truck was backed into a ditch, so they believe Anderson was driving and lost control of the pickup.

Deputy Mike Carnell responded to take fingerprints from the truck, and deputy Joe McGirt also worked the scene. The owner of the stolen truck confirmed the weapons found on Anderson were from his pickup, the investigator said.

Anderson was booked into the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center on complaints of public intoxication, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of stolen property/vehicle and possession of a firearm after former conviction.  Anderson remained jailed Tuesday on $12,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled March 16.  No formal charges have been filed, but the case will be turned over to the district attorney’s office.