Boy held hostage during Valley Center manhunt, officials say
Thursday would have been easier for a 14-year-old Valley Center boy if he had been at school.
Valley Center students were home for an in-service day Thursday, when four people are accused of robbing the town's Intrust Bank branch. During the massive manhunt that followed, one of the robbery suspects is accused of holding the boy hostage inside his home.
The boy's father became concerned when his son didn't answer the telephone. The father found a Highway Patrol trooper after he knocked on the door and his son didn't answer.
Sedgwick County Sheriff's Maj. Mike Oliver said troopers went to the house and entered.
"At the same time the suspect that we were looking for ran from the back of the house to an ajoining business next door and tried to hide in a vehicle," Oliver said.
A police dog eventually convinced the suspect to exit a pickup he was hiding in. The suspect was treated for a minor bite wound to the lower leg. The boy was okay.
The robbery was reported at 12:24 p.m. Thursday and the final arrest was made shortly before 3 p.m. Oliver said 98 officers took part in the massive operation that followed the robbery. The agencies that sent personnel to the scene were the Valley Center Police Department, the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, Wichita Police, Kansas Highway Patrol, Park City Police, Maize Police, Kechi Police, Haysville Police, Andale Police, Mount Hope Police, Colwich Police and officers from State Parole.
During the initial chase, a Valley Center police officer fired at least two shots at one of the suspects. No one was struck.
Valley Center Police Chief Mark Hephner said his office will cooperate with the District Attorney's office in an investigation into the officer's actions with regard to the gunshots.
Officials arrested Dlaney Nixon, 23, Terry Revels, 49, Henry Adams III, 31 and Veronica Johnson, 34. The three men all have Kansas prison records and all four suspects are from the Wichita area. Johnson's photograph was not available for the montage above. Officials could not comment during a Friday news conference which suspect is accused of taking the hostage.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Wichita has filed federal bank robbery charges against all four suspects.
Local law enforcement officers expect to present the case to the Sedgwick County District Attorney's office early next week for the filing of possible state charges.