|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Two-day manhunt ends with arrest
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON – A two-day manhunt in northern Trinity County ended Friday afternoon with a 28-year-old man in custody. Leland Randolph was arrested on warrants issued in Jasper, Hardin and Angelina counties and was charged locally with a felony possession of a firearm and evading arrest charges. Bond was set at $80,000 on the evading arrest complaint and $40,000 on the weapons charge. According to Trinity County Sheriff Ralph Montemayor, his office received a tip on Thursday, Dec. 13, that a man wanted in Jasper and Hardin counties was residing in the vicinity of North Scrub Creek Road in Trinity County. Deputies went to the residence at about 3:30 p.m. and spotted the suspect in front of the residence. When the man saw the deputies approaching, he pulled a handgun and ran into the woods behind the residence. The deputies called for help and officers from a number of local, state and federal departments converged on the area in an attempt to surround the suspect. “Over the two-day period that the manhunt went on, I’d say we had 70 officers involved in trying to capture the suspect,” Montemayor said. In addition to Trinity County Sheriff’s Department deputies, other officers assisting included the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, Texas Rangers, a DPS helicopter unit, Groveton Police Department officers, the Pct. 4 Constable’s Office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice tracking units, the U.S. Marshall’s Office, the FBI and deputies with both the Polk and Jasper county sheriff’s departments. The sheriff said when the suspect fled from the residence, a subsequent search discovered methamphetamines and a number of items reported as stolen during Jasper and Hardin county burglaries. He indicated it appeared the suspect was preparing to use the methamphetamines when the officers first arrived. The stolen items were found inside a car parked at the residence. Montemayor said the break in the manhunt came at about 11:30 a.m. on Friday when a retired law enforcement officer encountered the suspect on a 5,000 acre deer hunting lease in the area of North Scrub Creek Road and Bill Jones Road. “The former officer was hunting when he spotted the suspect. The officer ordered he man to halt and pulled his gun,” Montemayor said. The suspect ignored the order to halt and ran back into the woods. However, the sighting allowed the search team to bring the TDCJ dog units to the scene. “Within about two hours, the dogs had the trail and we were able to drive the suspect toward some of the other officers,” the sheriff said. Montemayor said at about 4 p.m. the suspect finally encountered two DPS troopers, a game warden, a TCSO deputy and District Attorney Investigator Travis Haygood. “When he spotted the officers, he dropped his weapon and again tried to run, but they were able to catch and subdue him,” the sheriff said, adding it was Haygood who managed to run down and capture the fugitive.