Man arrested after lengthy standoff

Published 12:27 am Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Chilton County man is in jail after a standoff late yesterday afternoon that involved one hostage but fortunately ended quietly.

Kenneth Mims surrendered to law enforcement officials after nearly two hours of negotiations, which followed a brief chase in which the suspect fled both by vehicle and on foot.

“There was nobody hurt or injured, and he was taken into custody,” said Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis.

Originally, the Chilton County Special Operations Unit SWAT Team went to a residence on County Road 30 in the Fairview area to serve Mims two arrest warrants, one for probation violation and another for criminal mischief.

While deputies were in the process of serving warrants, they found evidence of manufacturing a controlled substance in the residence and obtained a search warrant, but the subject was not there at the time.

“When he (Mims) saw the Sheriff’s Office was in his yard, he fled in his vehicle for less than 100 yards, jumped out, and fled on foot,” Davis said.

At that point, the Department of Public Safety Aviation Unit and tracking dogs from Bibb County Correctional Facility were called to assist, and a perimeter was set around the area.

Before 4 p.m., the situation turned hostile when the suspect ran from the area and into a mobile home, where he took an elderly female hostage.

“Within about 30 minutes of negotiations, we were able to talk the hostage to safety,” Davis said. “After approximately two hours of continuous negotiations, we were able to talk him into surrendering.”

Davis added that the suspect gave up his weapon, which was described as a large butcher knife, about halfway into the negotiations.

Surrounding units, including Maplesville Police Department and Jemison Police Department, also assisted in the operation.

“I am proud of the guys and the way they acted in the situation,” Davis said. “They were able to take a bad situation and make it good.”

He said the mobile command post and the equipment it carries allowed the department to provide phone service to the residence and start one-on-one negotiations with the subject. Davis said that was the only way they would have been able to talk him into surrendering.

“That equipment is not used every day, but it is invaluable equipment to have in a situation like this, and in situations like last Saturday’s drowning,” he said.

As of last night, Mims is in custody in the Chilton County Jail. Any additional charges are pending investigation.