Chase ends in fugitive's arrest

Published 9:02 am Wednesday, May 18, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Fugitives can run, but they can't hide from the Atmore Police Department.
Tuesday morning around 7 a.m., the department's dispatcher received a call from a concerned citizen on Davison Lane, located just south of Barnhills Restaurant, that a suspicious white male was wandering the neighborhood. Upon the officers' arrival, the man fled and the officers gave chase on foot.
"It's undetermined at this time what his intentions were," Atmore Police Department Chief Jason Dean said. "We haven't determined yet if he's broken into anything at this time, but we're investigating it."
Minutes later, police officers apprehended Anthony Rathel, 29, of Georgia after learning that he was wanted by Georgia police officials for parole violation after being convicted on theft charges.
"We don't know if he was looking around, casing an area or looking for something to get into, but right now the only thing that we have is that he's wanted out of Georgia," Dean said. "We don't know what his intensions were."
Rathel, who was staying at the Days Inn, claims that he works for a construction company from out of town, but is working in the local area. Atmore Police officials have not verified his statement.
"We haven't determined who he works for, what company or what kind of work," Dean said. "We're going off his word, we haven't verified it."
Rathel was transported to the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning where he is being held on a fugitive warrant. He will remain in the detention center until he is picked up by Georgia police officials and transported back to Georgia.
Dean said he is proud of his officers' quick response and apprehension.
"We had real quick response, I'm proud of all my officers," Dean said. "Between the officers' communication on the radios, they were able to helm him up and catch him."
Atmore officers have been on the defensive following several burglaries last week. Several vehicles and outdoor sheds have been broken into and various items have been stolen.
"If you've got a shed or a vehicle, lock it up," Dean said. "If you see anybody suspicious in your neighborhood, please call the department at any time. If they (the concerned Davison Lane resident) wouldn't have called, we wouldn't have caught this fugitive."
No officers or residents were injured during the arrest.

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