CHIPLEY — The man whose pursuit resulted in Chipley schools being locked down on Friday was ultimately arrested on charges including trespassing, resisting officers, possession of methamphetamine as well as violation of state probation according to a Chipley Police Department news release.
Dallas Payne, whose address is listed as 619 N. Caryville Road in Bonifay, was arrested on charges of 2 counts trespassing, resist officer without violence, possession of methamphetamine, theft and violation of state probation, according to the news release, issued Monday.
Payne’s manhunt resulted in Chipley High School, Roulhac Middle School and the Washington County Christian School being placed on lockdown Friday while officers searched for him.
The incident began on Friday, Feb. 8, at 11:48 a.m. when officers with the Chipley Police Department were dispatched to a residence on South 8th Street.
The call was relayed to the officers that a man had knocked on the door to a home on 8th street that was occupied by an elderly lady. When the lady opened the door, the man pushed his way into the home, according to police.
The man then asked the woman to use her phone. The lady told the man to get out of her house, which he did. The woman said the man ran through her yard in a westerly direction towards State Road 77.
She was able to provide police with a good description of the man. This was when the Washington County Sheriff’s Department joined in the search.
One of the neighbors on 8th Street advised Chipley officers of where the man “had been hanging out,” according to the release. Chipley Police went to that residence, which was on Court Avenue. The Court Avenue resident identified the suspect as Dallas Payne of Caryville. The Court Avenue resident also told police that Payne was high on meth.
At about 12:24 p.m. on Friday, a man matching Payne’s description was seen leaving the North West Florida Community Hospital. Payne spent a few minutes in the hospital and took a white lab coat from the hospital before leaving, according to police.
Then at 12:30 p.m. Payne was seen cutting across the property of the Washington County Christian School. Payne left the Christian School in a southerly direction placing him on the backside of the Washington Square property. Payne then entered through the rear door of Javier’s Restaurant and left the same way, according to police.
Payne was last seen going into the woods behind Tyndall Federal Credit Union.
Meanwhile, on Facebook, rumors were spreading about robberies occurring at the credit union and and Javier’s Restaurant, as word of the schools being on lockdown also spread.
Sheriff Bobby Haddock said on Friday he had asked Andrea Gainey, his administrative assistant, to get a post on Facebook to quell the rumors.
“I told Andrea to get something on there to quiet it down,” Sheriff Haddock said. The sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the schools to provide security as well as assist the Chipley Police in the manhunt.
After Payne disappeared into the woods behind the credit union, the deputies and officers were joined in the search by the Northwest Florida Reception Center K-9 Unit.
The K-9 team entered the woods behind Tyndall where they found Payne lying down about 200 yards into the woods. Payne was captured at 1:35 p.m.
After Payne was apprehended, police were able to locate the hospital’s lab coat and Payne’s pants, which he had taken off, according to the release.
These items, along with methamphetamine, were located in close proximity to Payne, according to police.
After talking with all people involved, no one said that Payne ever threatened anyone.
“We wanted to thank the public because they kept the calls coming into us until we got him,” said Police Chief Kevin Crews. “We want to thank the Sheriff’s Department and the K-9 Team from Greenhead, also. They all provided several people to us and were a great assistance to catching this guy.”