by Mike Landis, KY3 News
5:41 PM CST, February 15, 2013
POWERSITE, Mo. -- From the busted patio door to shattered windows, a trailer home sits in ruins following a raid on Thurday night that led to the capture of a fugitive.
"I was shocked to see the damage that my house sustained during this," said Robert Melton, the owner of the house where Johnny Bryan Jr. was captured. "I don't know; it may be a total loss."
Melton says he had no idea the fugitive was staying in his rental home in Powersite.
Bryan had been been wanted since December. The Taney County sheriff says that's when he led deputies on a pursuit spanning Taney and Christian counties. During the chase, he tried to run over an officer, and struck three patrol cars. Bryan eluded deputies but his freedom ended early Friday.
After receiving a tip, deputies say they surrounded the trailer home off Highway VV. The standoff lasted eight hours, from Thursday night into Friday morning. Finally, deputies fired tear gas canisters into the windows, entered the home, and made their arrest without further incident.
Bryan was later charged with vehicle theft, resisting arrest, and assault of a law enforcement officer.
"These men and women go out on the roads, and they put their lives in danger every day to protect all of us," said Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Merrell. "And we have to, in turn, protect them. And, if we don’t, I don’t see how we could expect them to go to bat for us every day."
Now there is the mess in Powersite to clean up. Melton says the trailer still has the overpowering stench of tear gas, and he is unable to enter the structure.
"I'm not a law officer. I can't say they had other ways of getting the suspect out of this house," said Melton. "But, yes, I am upset because my house is destroyed.
Melton said he hopes his insurance will cover the damage.
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