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Arrest made after manhunt

By: Greg Bird

Officers arrested a suspect after a short and dangerous standoff December 19 off Beulah Heights Road.

John T. Smith, 35, was charged with arson, and faced additional charges after attempting to evade capture.

The events started unfolding around 6 a.m. when McCreary County Sheriff’s Detective David Sampson responded to the area investigating a report on a possible arson when he spotted the suspect, who fled from the officer. Sampson was able to identify the subject, who police considered dangerous. The suspect managed to get in a vehicle, but got stuck in a creek bed and fled into the woods.

By that time other officers arrived to assist with the search and to establish a perimeter.

K9 units from Williamsburg arrived on scene to assist with the search, and managed to track the suspect for a while, but the trail eventually disappeared.

Believing this to be a dangerous suspect, officers from the Kentucky State Police, McCreary County Sheriff’s Department, Fish and Wildlife and Park Service were on hand to assist with the manhunt.

It became a tense situation when officers received information to a possible location of the suspect about a quarter of a mile up the road from where they established a base of operations.

As several of the officers searched the area, another officer interviewed residents of a nearby house and determined Smith was hiding inside the house.

A short and tense standoff ensued outside the residence as officers tried to get Smith to surrender, but he refused to comply.

After loosing a K9 officer into the house to dislodge Smith, law enforcement stormed the residence and found Smith hiding under a bed and took him into custody.

Smith was charged with arson, and outstanding warrants. Additional charges may be pending.

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