According to Tanner Crump with the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office, John Maxwell told arresting officers that he was in the perimeter of the search for him the whole time. Maxwell was arrested Wednesday morning after he knocked on the doors of three homes seeking a ride to work in Birthright. When arrested, Maxwell began asking who was in charge so he could seek to have some of the charges dropped.
Maxwell had found refuge in a pine tree during the search by Hopkins County deputies, investigators, search dogs, and DPS helicopter. Crump noted that the helicopter could not use heat seeking instruments to detect Maxwell’s location due to the heat of the ground. The dogs had difficulty due to the many scents that were present due to the number of officers who had been searching the area. Crump said it was not a proud moment for law enforcement but several factors were involved in the type of chase that had been initiated when Maxwell fled detention.
The search had been called off Tuesday afternoon after it began around 7:55 a.m. However, at 8:30 p.m., Maxwell had knocked on a door of a house in the area where he had escaped and asked the resident to call his girlfriend to pick him up. The resident knew it was Maxwell and dialed 911. Maxwell left that house and went to the next house but the resident seeing it was Maxwell did not go to the door. That resident also called 911. Although law enforcement arrived quickly, Maxwell had already left the area. A command center was established for law enforcement but at 11:30 p.m. the officers pulled back but remained in the area.
Wednesday morning, Maxwell went to the third house and asked for a ride to his work at a plumbing business in Birthrite. The resident told his wife to call 911 and tell them where they would be going. He then gave Maxwell a ride. Investigator Corley Weatherford was first to see the vehicle. Weatherford in an unmarked car followed the vehicle and Maxwell to his work. Maxwell jumped out of the vehicle and attempted to hide behind the plumbing business. The manager of Joe Bob’s in Birthright was on his way to work and had been alerted to the fact that Maxwell might go to the convenience store. When the manger saw what was happening as Maxwell attempted to flee Weatherford, he drove his auto behind the plumbing shop to cut off Maxwell.
Maxwell found himself cornered by deputies, investigators and the convenience store manager. He picked up a scissor jack and began hitting himself in the head. A deputy tasered Maxwell at that time and the arrest was made. He is in Hopkins County Jail awaiting a magistrates hearing.
It all began during a traffic stop at 7:55 a.m. Tuesday morning on FM 71 just west of the Sulphur Bluff store, when Maxwell fled the Hopkins County Deputy. Maxwell fled south from the location on foot. The Sulphur Bluff ISD was placed on a Soft Non-Emergency Lock Down as Hopkins County Sheriff Deputies, Investigators, County and State Bloodhounds, and DPS Helicopter are involved in the pursuit of Maxwell. Maxwell has a history of criminal activity dating back to August, 2006. Traveling with Maxwell was a female and juvenile. The female is Tara Slough, 41, who has been married to Maxwell, according to a Slough’s niece. They were separated so that she could regain custody of the juvenile according to the niece. Slough has fled police before when with Maxwell.