police

Wanette man jailed in shooting incident

A Wanette man was jailed Monday on a shooting with intent to kill complaint after his friend suffered a gunshot wound to the head during an alleged argument.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said deputies responded about 1:30 p.m. to a home on Trousdale Road, about one mile west of SH 102 in the Wanette area.

The shooting victim, Randall Roberson, 53, had called 911 for help, Palmer said, and told dispatchers the suspect, Jerry Miller, 62, was still inside the home.

After calling to report his injury, Roberson flagged down a propane truck driven by the Wanette firefighter, who drove him to the end of the road to await an ambulance, Palmer said.

Deputies responded to the scene. Roberson, who suffered an injury along the top of his head, Palmer said, was taken by REACT EMS to Unity Health Center for treatment. Medi Flight was originally called, but wasn’t needed, Palmer said.

Roberson told deputies he was at Miller’s home when the two of them, who are friends, got into an argument. Roberson told authorities he was watching TV when Miller left the room and returned. He allegedly “pointed a gun and pulled the trigger,” Palmer said.

Roberson told deputies Miller was still inside the home with weapons. Deputies, along with the District Attorney’s Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and tribal officers, set up a perimeter around the home and tried to negotiate with Miller, Palmer said, but Miller wouldn’t answer the phone or bullhorn calls from outside.

After about 30 minutes, Palmer said law enforcement officers breached a door to make entry, where Miller, who was reportedly asleep, raised up from the sofa and complied with commands. Palmer said Miller told deputies he didn’t know about anyone getting shot.

Deputies said they found a .22 caliber rille inside the home and arrested Miller on a complaint of shooting with intent to kill. He was booked into he Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center. Formal charges have not been filed.

While the incident remains under investigation, Palmer said it appears both men were drinking alcohol at the time of the incident.

Deputies: ‘Don’t be suckered’ by lottery check scam

Once again, fake lottery letters with cashier’s checks have arrived in Shawnee mailboxes, prompting law enforcement officers to issue warnings to area residents. The most recent mailing comes from an address in London, England, with a claim that the person is the winner of the Australia Sweepstakes lottery. The Shawnee resident who received this mailing, along with what appears to be a real cashier’s check, became suspicious and turned over the items to the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Mike Booth said the letter and $4,995 check, are a scam and residents need to be aware of such cons to avoid becoming victims.
“If it looks too good to be true, it is,” Booth said. It’s a scam, no matter how good it looks.” The letterhead shows Featureview Trust Inc., and includes the Shawnee man’s name and his address where it was mailed, and claims to be from the International Claims Department in London, England. The letter claims the resident has won $250,000 through a random computer ballot system drawn from shopper names.
The letter shows the check for $4,995 is to help pay government taxes and insurance on the winnings and claims to be a payment from a claims agent.

It asks the winner not to use the check until they call a 15-digit phone number, where police said those answering work to get personal information from the caller. The fake check, with the somewhat blurry logo of well-known U.S. bank, claims to be drafted from an account in Phoenix, Ariz. “No matter how real it looks, it’s not going to get you anything,” Booth said about that check, advising residents not to cash it or give any personal information to anyone. “From that point on, you have everything to lose,” the sheriff added. Booth said residents should be suspicious if they get anything by mail such as this, especially if they have no direct knowledge of it. “Anyone with questions can bring it to their local law enforcement office,” Booth said, adding, “Don’t be suckered.”

Shawnee police issued a similar warning back in December for mailings that included similar letters for a shoppers lottery scam.
“Don’t cash the check … do not call and give them any information,” Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said. Frantz said the scam works to get someone’s bank account number, either by phone or when cashing the fake check. That enables the suspects to clean out someone’s bank account before they realize the check to pay the “fees” is a fake and has bounced. “Citizens beware,” Frantz said.

‘Most wanted’ fugitive nabbed in Shawnee

Through cooperative efforts of law enforcement agencies, one of the state’s most wanted fugitives sought by the U.S. Marshal’s Metro Fugitive Squad was apprehended at a Shawnee home Sunday evening.

Floyd Grass, 34, was arrested about 6 p.m. at 1832 W. Wiley, said Chad Pope, who serves as a special deputy with the U.S. Marshals’ Metro Fugitive Squad. Pope, who also is a Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputy, said a tip led authorities to that home. Pope said the arrest was made “with a lot of cooperation” between agencies, who began working together in the days beforehand in attempts to locate Grass. Grass, who was sought on a federal warrant for a probation violation, also had state warrants from Pottawatomie County for two felony cases — aggravated assault and battery and placing bodily fluid on a government employee, Pope said.

The search for Grass had been ongoing in the area several days, he said. That search involved U.S. marshals being in town to follow leads, with assistance by the district attorney’s task force. Pope said they had looked for Grass at several locations, but he wasn’t there. From cooperative work and interviews in the days leading up to the arrest, the tip on Sunday led authorities to his location. Pope said the entire Pottawatomie County sheriff’s office warrant team along with several Shawnee police officers assisted in the arrest. Prior to going to that home, Pope said authorities received word that Grass had a police scanner and was armed. When police surrounded the home and made the arrest, they found a police scanner, but no firearm, Pope said. Two others at that home were arrested on unrelated city of Shawnee municipal warrants. Grass is jailed at the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center.

According to jail rosters, Grass has a $50,000 bond for each of the two state counts. Those two counts are for separate Pottawatomie County cases in which Grass had warrants issued in 2007 after failing to appear in court, records show. Grass also is being held without a bond on the federal charge, which involves possession of a weapon, jail records show. He’s also being held on a complaint of unlawful use of a police radio.

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.

Suspect linked to 20 stolen trailers

A Stratford man remains jailed on several complaints after a stolen trailer from Shawnee led police to link the suspect to at least 20 other stolen trailer cases.  Shawnee Police Detective Ronnie Wilson said a trailer was stolen from the Shawnee area Nov. 9, with the owner passing video on police and giving officers a description of the suspect vehicle.  Detective Greg Gibson noticed the vehicle and followed it, Wilson said, before Cpl. Dan Shumaker conducted a traffic stop.  Wilson said Steven Barnett, 30, had an outstanding warrant for charges filed Oct. 29 in another trailer theft case and was arrested. Detective Wilson and Detective Charles Swantek searched the vehicle and discovered a pawn ticket, Wilson said.
After checking pawn shops, Wilson said police discovered Barnett had allegedly pawned eight different trailers over the past 30 days.  Police tracked the stolen trailer from Shawnee and traced it to being stolen and then sold and bought again at least three times.  Wilson said a unknowing citizen has likely purchased the stolen trailer, so thus far, it hasn’t been recovered.  Barnett allegedly confessed to six of the stolen trailers, Wilson said, but police believed Barnett may have been involved in as many as 20 trailer thefts.

Barnett was recently charged in Pottawatomie County District Court with false declaration of ownership and pawn and grand larceny involving a trailer stolen from Tecumseh. In that case, the Pottawatomie Count sheriff’s office and Tecumseh police investigated a trailer theft that occurred Sept. 20.

Wilson said trailer thefts are a big problem and police believe there are many repeat offenders working this area.
The biggest problem is there’s no registration for utility trailers, and most don’t have any type of serial number or identification on them, making it difficult for police to track down stolen ones, he said.

Those who own trailers are cautioned to keep them locked up and take precautions, such as putting some type of identification numbers, names or similar identifiers in several places on the trailer. A welder can place such numbers on the trailer and owners also should photograph their trailer for easy identification.

Taking a “little bit of time and a little bit of money,” to mark trailers can help police in these types of investigations.  Further charges are pending for Barnett, who remains jailed on $20,000 bond for the first case.

2009 Shop with a Cop!

It doesn’t take 9-year-old Preston Gunter long to shop. Just a few minutes after he headed into the wilds of Wal-Mart during Sunday’s Shop with a Cop, he was standing in the checkout line with Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Troy Thompson, his shopping buddy. In his cart: an Indiana Jones video game, a Bakugan game and a large bag of Butterfingers. There was one problem. He hadn’t spent enough — there was money remaining on his gift card. So, off he went again with Trooper Thompson, quickly returning with a case for the Bakugan game. “He knew what he wanted and he knew right where to go,” Thompson said. “There were only three of the games, so he was glad he got to be one of the first to go.”
For his part, Preston didn’t say much, but his frequent smiles spoke volumes. He was one of 97 children taking part in Leadership Shawnee’s Shop with a Cop. The Shawnee Chamber of Commerce annually sponsors Leadership Shawnee and requires each class to have a project. This year’s class decided to organize Shop with a Cop and raised $7,500 to buy $75 gift cards for 92 children and presents for five of their siblings who were younger than 18 months. The 92 older children were paired up with a local enforcement officer as a shopping partner. For about two hours, the area just south of Wal-Mart’s book section was packed with children, their parents, cops and Leadership Shawnee class members. Everyone involved genuinely seemed to enjoy the experience. “All the policemen are smiling and all the kids are smiling,” said Felicia Freeman, one of the Leadership Shawnee class members. “It feels good just knowing that we helped make the kids have a good Christmas.” A total of 39 officers from the Shawnee, McLoud and Tecumseh police departments, the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and the Absentee Shawnee Nation volunteered to help the youngsters shop. Dan Shumaker of the Shawnee Police Department said he was glad he had the opportunity to participate. His first shopping partner was a girl who bought clothes. “Her father thanked me over and over and over,” Shumaker said. “With the economy being the way it is, this is perfect timing. You could see in her face that it made a difference.” Wal-Mart supplied cookies and Hawaiian Punch for the shoppers, their parents and the cops. Brenda Burkey, a department manager, came in on her day off to run a register at a line dedicated for Shop with a Cop sales only. “I’m a sucker for the kids,” she said. “You could see their eyes light up. It was just magic.”
For some shoppers, particularly the older ones, it went fast indeed. Some of the younger ones took a more leisurely pace, savoring the moment and the company of the cop. And the program had an unintended benefit for one person not involved in Shop with a Cop. A lady went to the check-in table to sternly ask how long the policemen would be tied up at the store. When told about another hour and a half, she brightened.
“That’s great — I’m going to speed on my way home.” Despite the potential for abetting in the violation of speed laws, members have discussed continuing Shop with a Cop next year and making it annual event.

Police officer awards

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, several area police officers were honored for the excellence in report writing and investigation into domestic violence cases. Officers honored during the Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign hosted by the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Family Violence Prevention Program and the Pottawatomie District Attorney’s Office were: Detective Lee Minick, Sgt. Jody Opela, Officer Daniel LeClaire and Investigator LaTrenda Sanders, all from the Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal police; Sgt. Tim Boyd from McLoud Police Department; Deputy Scott Hawkins and Deputy Amanda Myrko from the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office; Patrol Officer Kevin Hughey, Cpl. Kim Dibble and Cpl. Shawn Parsons from Shawnee Police Department; Officer Brandi Carnell from Tecumseh Police Department; as well as two officers from Lincoln County.