Arkansas City suspect in custody after standoff

Ponca City Now - January 28, 2016 3:27 pm

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. — A man who escaped from the Oklahoma prison system last December was apprehended by police after a short standoff at an Arkansas City residence Thursday afternoon.

Jason Jude Leith, 38, was taken into custody just prior to 2 p.m. Thursday in northwest Arkansas City by the Arkansas City Police Department, with the assistance of the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol and Southern Kansas SWAT.

ACPD received information from Oklahoma Crime Stoppers that Leith — who escaped from prison on Dec. 21, 2015, and was wanted on an outstanding warrant — was in Arkansas City.

The report was that Leith was in an apartment in the 1300 block of West Cypress Avenue. He was considered armed and dangerous.

Police went to the apartment to contact the person who lives there, who told them that Leith was in an upstairs bedroom. He would not come out of the apartment after they made contact with him.

Because the residence where Leith was located is a short distance from Adams Elementary School, police instructed the school to be locked down. The school since has been released from the lockdown.

In addition to the school lockdown, police set up a perimeter and vacated the attached apartments.

Police tried to negotiate with Leith to surrender, but he would not communicate further with them. Southern Kansas SWAT arrived and also tried to contact Leith, but he climbed into the attic space of the apartment. With the assistance of the Kansas Highway Patrol K-9, the suspect came out of the attic and surrendered to law enforcement.

“We appreciate the assistance of all of our fellow law enforcement agencies, including the Southern Kansas SWAT, Kansas Highway Patrol and Cowley County Sheriff’s Office,” said Police Chief Dan Ward. “This situation was resolved without any injury due to their assistance.”

According to court records, Leith was charged with escape from an Oklahoma penitentiary on Jan. 26, 2016, in Oklahoma County District Court. In August 2015 he was convicted of possession of methamphetamine in Tulsa County District Court after pleading guilty.

At that time he was sentenced to three years in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Leith has a history of court cases in Kay County ranging from traffic offenses to assault and battery, forcible detainer, sale of beer to a minor and auto burglary.

Department of Corrections records show Leith escaped from the Clara Waters Community Correctional Center in Oklahoma City.


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