Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - September 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
Sexual assault suspect is arrested in Ratcliff area
Houston County Courier - September 2009
In a joint effort between three law enforcement agencies, Aaron Michael Hambrick, 24, was arrested in the Ratcliff area on Sunday, Sept. 6.
Hambrick was charged with aggravated sexual assault with a weapon on a warrant from Orange County.
According to authorities, on Sunday afternoon Houston County Precinct 1 Constable Morris E. Luker was contacted by a detective with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office concerning a license plate that Luker had checked on for warrants the previous evening.
Constable Luker had conducted a check on the vehicle due to two burglaries in the Ratcliff area that the Houston County Sheriff’s Office had been working earlier in the day.
A first degree felony arrest warrant charging Hambrick with aggravated sexual assault had been issued early Sunday morning.
Constable Luker notified United States Forest Service law enforcement officers in the Ratcliff area to be on the lookout for the subject and the vehicle.
Constable Luker then learned through an interview with two store workers that he had observed at the store after it closed when the suspect was using the pay telephone that the same car and subject had been seen earlier on Sunday morning purchasing a soft drink at the store.
This information obtained from interviews with store workers led authorities to believe that Hambrick was still in the area and Houston County Sheriff’s Office deputies and the officers began a diligent search in the Ratcliff area for the suspect.
Constable Luker went to check on two vacant camp houses on a deer lease in the area of CR 1170 and located the vehicle on a private road parked in front of a residence.
Constable Luker called for back up from other officers and a plan to safely enter the residence and arrest the subject was developed.
The USFS law enforcement officers, Houston County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Constable Luker then entered the residence with the cooperation of the homeowner and arrested the suspect without further incident.
The suspect complied with officer’s commands and surrendered.
Orange County authorities were then notified of the arrest and Constable Luker then stayed with the suspect’s vehicle after securing it.
Orange County detectives came and transported the vehicle back to Orange via a wrecker for processing as a crime scene.
Constable Luker credits this arrest to the cooperation of all the agencies involved and the diligent observations made by area citizens in keeping their community safe.
Hambrick was in the Houston County Sheriff’s Office Jail with no bond available awaiting transport to Orange County at the time of this press release.