Citizen Amanda S. wrote to us requesting we share her son Matthew’s photo with Sheriff Michael Booth at Tecumseh Frontier Days last month. Thanks Amanda for sharing with us.
Christy Lewis, News 9
Shortly before 22-year-old Tecumseh police officer Justin Terney died in the line of duty, he had gotten a puppy named Onyx and they had big plans.
“He was on night shift and I was on night shift,” said Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputy Jared Strand.
Strand said Terney told him he wanted to be a K9 handler with Onyx.
“He talked about it a couple of times whenever we were just hanging out around dispatch or on a call,” Strand said.
So when Onyx lost his owner and needed a new place to go, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said he felt a great obligation to provide that.
“His real home is at Tecumseh, but we just have custody of him and taking care of him. But he’s for all law enforcement here in Pottawatomie County,” the sheriff said.
Strand is now Onyx’s handler. The dog is 8 months old.
“It’s a huge honor and that’s why I’m working so hard to make sure that everything works out,” he explained.
Strand runs drills with the dog and takes him to monthly training sessions in Shawnee, hoping to help Onyx achieve his life’s mission.
“I want Onyx to be the best K9 in the state, if not the nation,” he told News 9. “Because that’s what Justin was. He was a great officer and for him to carry that legacy on would be just great.”
Onyx is currently in testing to see which path he’ll take as a working dog. He could go out on patrol in as early as four to five months.
Booth thanked the Bricktown Brewery, 4-Way Automatic Transmission, Lexington police, Stratford police and Shawnee police for their help in making the K9 program possible.
The Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Unit is currently attempting to locate Damien Sumpter. Sumpter has not appeared for his routine registration. Sumpter is also not living at the address he has listed on his registration. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Sumpter please contact Deputy Jared Strand at 405-273-1727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Shawnee residents were killed and three high school students suffered serious injuries in a head-on collision Tuesday afternoon on Coker Road, just north of Waco Road. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Justin Miller investigated the crash, which occurred about 12:09 p.m. Killed in the accident were Gary Bailey, 59, and Janice Bailey, 58, both of Shawnee, the OHP reported. Gary Bailey was driving a 1997 Nissan pickup southbound on Coker Road when his vehicle was hit head-on by a northbound 2007 Saturn sedan driven by Nicholas Moles, 17, Shawnee, the OHP said. Trooper Miller said Moles’ vehicle crossed the center line and collided head-on with Bailey’s pickup. Moles was transported by private vehicle to Unity Health Center, where the OHP reported he was treated and released. Moles’ two passengers also were injured. According to the report, Dakota Davis, 16, Tecumseh, and Tyler Jackson, 17, Tecumseh, were taken to Unity Health Center where they were reportedly treated and released, but it appears both were actually transferred to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Both Davis and Jackson were listed as patients at the hospital Tuesday night. Jackson was listed in fair condition, a nurse supervisor said, and Davis was there, but had not been admitted, she said.
All three teenagers are reported to be students at Tecumseh High School. The patrol said seat belts were in use by occupants of the Saturn sedan, but were not in use in the Nissan pickup. Trooper Miller was assisted at the scene by Lt. Kera Philippi. Shawnee and Bethel Acres firefighters responded to provide extrication while Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies provided traffic control as the roadway was blocked.
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.
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.
Law enforcement officers in both Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties are still on the lookout for a person wanted for questioning in connection with two pursuits relating to stolen vehicles and trailers Monday night. Lincoln County Sheriff Charlie Dougherty reported the pursuit began in Pottawatomie County as deputies tried to stop a pickup towing a stolen box trailer. Dougherty has identified the driver they are still looking for as David Carter of Meeker. A passenger in the vehicle, identified by deputies at Eric L. Grimm, 24, stayed inside the vehicle and was taken into custody by Pottawatomie County deputies, Dougherty said. He said the stolen vehicle was recovered, while a manhunt commenced for Carter.
The pursuit entered Lincoln County on 3440 Road and continued north, he said. About one mile south of SH 62, officers set up road blocks, but the vehicle continued. A bit farther north, Dougherty said Meeker Police Officer Matt Willis was okay after the pickup clipped that officer’s leg while he attempted to deploy more stop sticks. Before that, the driver allegedly swerved his vehicle toward a Pottawatomie County sheriff’s unit occupied by a deputy. The pursuit came to an end more than a mile later where the roadway ends, with Carter reportedly fleeing the vehicle on foot, Dougherty said. Formal charges have not been filed against either. Grimm is now jailed on a complaint of knowingly concealing stolen property. Two tracking dogs were used to search for Carter at the end of pursuit before Midnight. About 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, a Ford pickup with attached flat-bed trailer was reported stolen in the general area, Dougherty said. Pottawatomie County deputies located it and began a pursuit of that stolen vehicle within 15 minutes of the report, but lost sighting, Dougherty said. That stolen vehicle was recovered in the Earlsboro area Tuesday, with case reports pointing to Carter also being connected to that vehicle as well, Dougherty said. Anyone with information about Carter should contact authorities.
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.
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.