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Lexington Police Department use special team and gas to bring Coventry stand-off to an end

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) –Matthew Sanders Johns, age 28, was arrested on multiple arrest warrants after barricading himself in his residence for about 5 hours on Coventry Drive in Lexington Wednesday afternoon. Johns was wanted after having two encounters with Lexington officers earlier in the week.

On Tuesday, October 16, a Lexington Police Department officer attempted to stop Johns for a speeding violation. He immediately fled from the officer. Because he was driving recklessly in an attempt to get away, the officer decided against pursuing him out of concern for the safety of the public. Later that same day, another officer saw Johns in the same vehicle in a parking lot close to the Home Depot. When the officer attempted to stop him this time, he fled again nearly striking a pedestrian in the parking lot before driving onto Sunset Blvd. Once again, the officer chose not to pursue Johns because he was acting so recklessly. Even though the officer wasn’t actively pursuing him, Johns continued fleeing until he hit another vehicle on Sunset Blvd. near Mineral Springs Road and immediately ran from that wreck. He eventually crossed I-20, and fled into the unincorporated portion of the county where he disappeared. Multiple agencies searched for him and the damaged car with no success. At this point, officers had collected enough evidence to identify Johns as the driver of the vehicle. They presented the facts to a judge who then issued the warrants.

At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, officers of the Lexington Police Department went to John’s residence on Coventry Drive and met with several individuals outside of the house who said that he was home. The officer attempted to call him out of the residence, but he wouldn’t comply. At that time, the police established a perimeter around the residence and asked for additional officers, the Crisis Negotiations Team, and the Emergency Services Team.

Negotiators attempted to make contact with Matthew Johns for a considerable amount of time before he answered a telephone call to speak with a them. They talked with Johns off and on for several hours before he hung up the phone and would not take their calls again.

Eventually, the call was made to have the Emergency Services Team deploy chemical munitions into the house. Shortly after that was done, Johns told the police that he was coming out. He exited from the residence through a window in the garage and was immediately taken into custody by officers without incident.

Johns was evaluated by County of Lexington EMS and he was then transported to the Lexington County Detention Center for booking procedures. He was charged with two counts Failure to Stop for Blue Lights, Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene of a Collision and Driving Under Suspension 2nd Offense.

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