Alert 911 caller assures capture of assault suspect

May 21, 2004|EMILY BURTON

MORELAND - What began as a hang-up call to 911 ended with a police pursuit and the arrest of a man on domestic violence charges Thursday morning, due in part to the quick thinking of the emergency caller.

Sheriff's deputies responded to the complaint of a domestic disturbance at 9 a.m. from emergency dispatchers, who had received a hang-up call moments earlier. Upon calling the residence listed as the source of the hang-up, dispatchers learned that Erin R. Wells, 24, of Hustonville, had allegedly broken a Domestic Violence Order and assaulted a female in a Raintree subdivision residence.

The female caller answered the dispatcher's return call, and when asked if she was OK, said no. What followed was a one-sided conversation held under a quick-witted ruse.

"He was in the house. She told him she was talking to the census bureau," reported dispatchers. Often using simple yes and no answers, the caller was able to describe the exterior of the house for deputies to locate. The caller continued the conversation until police arrived, said dispatchers.


Sheriff's Deputy Bill Schnitzler was the first on the scene. At that point, Wells was reportedly leaving through the front door.

"He was starting to leave out the front door and saw me. He went back inside, slammed the door, and came out the side door," said Schnitzler.

"She said, 'He's going out the back door' and then started rattling of a description of what he was wearing," reported dispatchers.

Schnitzler was joined by Deputy Ronnie Smith and Sheriff Shelby Lakes. For 20 minutes they followed Walls' trail, which led to a nearby horse pasture. Wells reportedly tried to hide in the weedy fence row before his arrest.

"Ronnie heard the weeds rustling," explained Schnitzler.

Wells faces charges in Lincoln County of fourth-degree assault, fleeing/evading police and contempt of court. Wells is also wanted in two additional counties - for a bench warrant and domestic violence charges in Boyle County and public intoxication and contempt of court in Taylor County.

Central Kentucky News Articles