Biloxi Manhunt Ends With Drug Suspect In Jail - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/04/03

Biloxi Manhunt Ends With Drug Suspect In Jail

There was a buzz on Biloxi's police radio. Officers were pursuing drug suspect Angels Rios. "All units, he's still wearing the blue top," a dispatcher said.

Darryl Montiforte was on bike patrol when colleagues spotted Angels Rios. "I came around this way, tried to cut him off," Montiforte said, pointing to a field near Popps Ferry Road. "But somehow, he escaped from us."

At 10:00 a.m., heavily armed Biloxi police officers positioned themselves behind Temple Baptist Church. Rios had been seen in the woods behind the sanctuary. "He was wearing the same clothes he was wearing yesterday," Montiforte said.

Police swarmed the area between Popps Ferry Road and I-10. The DMR and the coast guard patrolled the Tchoutacabouffa River.

At 12:30, search dogs picked up a scent. Search commanders sent the sheriff's department helicopter to a spot near Campbell Drive. Police thought they spotted Rios in the woods. But whatever they saw quickly disappeared.

Thirty minutes later, the heat became an issue. Radio talk on police scanners indicated the two search dogs lost the scent. And they suffered from exhaustion. So while the helicopter searched from the sky, officers on the ground found shade, while they waited for another dog to arrive.

When the manhunt reached the five hour mark, Biloxi police decided to make one more sweep of the woods. They came up empty. So the dogs came out of the woods, and the search ended.

Less than an hour later, Rios was seen again.  Police rushed to Campbell Drive and nabbed the suspect.

That didn't surprise officer Montiforte.  Several hours earlier, he said, "We'll catch him. His time will come.  He'll face the judge."

Biloxi police originally stopped Rios Wednesday morning because of a traffic violation. After he ran off, officers said they found two pounds of marijuana in his car. He's been charged with drug possession, and simple assault on a police officer.

by Brad Kessie

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