Update: Deputies Capture Barricaded Fugitive
By Space Coast Daily // January 9, 2013
Suspect Possibly Heavily Armed
BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Rush-hour traffic around the Merritt Square Mall on Merritt Island was snarled Tuesday as members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team blocked access to nearby streets while trying to capture a wanted fugitive.
The situation ended at 8:20 when Kenneth Wood, 40, wanted on and escape charges in Delaware, surrendered.
He was sought by the Delaware Department of Corrections authorities in Delaware’s Sussex County after escaping from custody there in late December, according to Brevard Sheriff public information officer Lt. Alex Herrera.
“After conducting further investigation, it was discovered that Wood was suspected of two armed robberies in Alabama and one armed robbery in North Florida since the escape,” Herrera said. “Wood is also suspected of multiple auto thefts during the crime spree.”
A standoff developed around 2:30 p.m. at 471 East Merritt Island Causeway west of the mall as deputies from the GAMEOVER Task Forcet found Wood at a Merritt Island residence, Herrera said.
The suspect barricaded himself in a mobile home and refused to come out.
Believing the suspect to be heavily armed and dangerous, the SWAT team was summoned.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Department Crisis Negotiations Team was called in to try to communicate with the barricaded and distraught suspect.
CNT members are trained in skillful communications and negotiations and have a distinguished record of diffusing potentially volatile situations to peaceful endings.
Herrera said that based upon Woods actions, the seriousness of the crime spree allegations and the belief that he was armed, the trailer park was evacuated.
“As the SWAT Team attempted to engage in conversation with Wood, he attempted to escape the area by crawling through the bottom of the trailer,” Herrera said. “Wood was immediately engaged by deputies and withdrew back into the trailer.”
He ultimately surrendered and was taken to the Brevard County Jail on a no bond status.
“GAMEOVER Agents are currently working with the law enforcement jurisdictions impacted by Woods violent crime spree,” Herrera said. “Additional charges are expected.”
After the arrest, agents discovered a stolen vehicle and items believed to be associated with the robberies at the standoff scene.
Wrapping up his first day on the job, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said he was pleased with his team’s actions in capturing Wood.
“I am very proud of the efforts of the GAMEOVER Task Force and our deputies,” Ivey said. “They addressed a very dangerous fugitive today and safely removed him from our community.”