‘Hide And Seek’: Cops Capture Fugitive Hiding In Ceiling After He Drops Into Church Service, Police Say

church suspect
Source: Stafford County Sheriff’s Office; UNSPLASH

Jun. 13 2022, Published 3:19 p.m. ET

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A fugitive attempting to flee the cops in Virginia was arrested in the middle of a church service after he was caught hiding in the ceiling, authorities said.

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Around 7:39 p.m. on June 11, a tipster phoned police in Fredericksburg and told them Troy Longwell of Spotsylvania had multiple active warrants and could be found at a beauty shop atthe Olde Forge Shopping Center, the Stafford County Sheriff's Office said.

The tipster also warned dispatchers that Longwell, 52, would attempt to escape from officers and hide, according to police.

“The business owner consented for deputies to check the beauty salon and the ‘hide and seek’ began,” police said. “Deputies quickly discovered a ceiling tile out of place and a human leg in the crawl space of the ceiling.”

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Officers ordered the suspect to surrender, but he disappeared further into the space and crawled toward an adjacent suite in the shopping center that housed a church.

A pair of officers “rushed to the church occupying the next suite, with a service in progress,” where they found and detained a shirtless and out-of-breath Longwell “in the sanctuary, in the middle of the service.”

Police said the suspect had dropped into the church from a room that was located behind the sanctuary and then walked into the service before he was confronted by the officers.

Police said they found a suspected controlled substance at the entrance to the crawlspace.

Longwell was charged with possession of a controlled substance and obstruction and booked into the Rappahannock Regional Jail, where he was being held without bond.

Police also served Longwell with seven active capias warrants from courts in multiple counties.


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