UPDATED: Four arrested following stand-off at Elms Motel
Tom Fink Staff Reporter
A pair of Tennessee men are in Rogers County Jail this morning following a stand off at a local motel with Claremore Police, Rogers County Sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement agencies.
Jayson B. Handing, 38, and Danny G. Pirtle, 27, both of Tennessee, were taken into custody and arrested shortly after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, after Claremore police developed leads linking the men and their female accomplices to drug-related crimes.
According to Claremore Chief of Police Stan Brown, officers received information mid-day Monday, which led to the suspect’s eventual arrest.
“At about 12:30 p.m. Monday, one of our officers received a tip that there might be four subjects — two male, two female — in town in a stolen vehicle,” Brown said.
“This officer further received information that these suspects were attempting to get or make money to return to their home in Tennessee by way of manufacturing or selling illegal drugs.”
Although Brown said the information provided was “relatively vague,” through “good police work,” officers were able to locate the stolen vehicle in the parking lot of Wal-Mart Super Center in Claremore.
“Upon the discovery of the vehicle, officers also found inside that it contained a (mobile) meth lab —further deepening the severity of crimes being broken by the suspects,” he said. “Further investigations confirmed the vehicle to be stolen and the two male subjects were found to have warrants for their arrest in Tennessee.”
Brown said at some point while the suspects were inside Wal-Mart, they somehow “got wise” to the presence of the police in the parking lot, changed clothes and temporarily evaded police, making their way back to their room at the Elms Motel.
“Later that evening, officers made contact with the two female suspects — Jennie Runions and Sarah Hawley — when they observed them walking from their motel to a nearby restaurant,” Brown said.
“The pair were then taken in for questioning and subsequently arrested and booked into Rogers County Jail.”
Concurrent to this, officers also were securing arrest and search warrants for the room in which the two male suspects were staying and shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, began evacuating nearby room occupants at the hotel for their safety.
“During our investigation, we’d gotten tips that the suspects could be armed, so we contacted the SWAT team from the Tulsa Police Department, the Rogers County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Cherokee Marshals for back-up,” Brown said.
“Given the information we’d received, we felt it necessary to handle this particular situation as a potentially ‘armed and dangerous’ scenario, coming in a little stronger than we might have otherwise.”
Following evacuation of the motel guests in adjacent rooms, officers announced themselves to the suspects, instructing them to exit (the room) with their hands up.
After repeated attempts to get the suspects to surrender in this manner, officers entered the room to find the suspects had attempted to hide in the attic. They were quickly found and removed without harm or further incident.
Handing and Pirtle were booked and arrested on charges of possession of stolen vehicle, manufacturing of CDS (controlled dangerous substance)/possession of material with intent to manufacture, carrying firearms after conviction or during probation, and using offensive weapon in commission of a felony.
Hawley was arrested and booked on charges of manufacturing CDS, possession of material with intent to manufacture, and unlawful possession of vessel or motor vehicle.
Runions was arrested and booked on charges of possession of controlled substance, distribution of controlled substance, including possession, and larceny —molesting or driving automobile for joy riding.