Suspect chase ends on roof of Omaha home

He was reported in April as a walkaway from Community Corrections Center in Lincoln.
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 12:30 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha Police had to call in the Fire Department on Monday to help capture a fugitive from justice.

Police said the man, later identified as 44-year-old John Mays, was a prison walk-away with an active felony warrant for domestic violence. He began serving a one-year sentence in December on four counts of violating a protection order and was listed as an escapee from Community Corrections Center in Lincoln on April 17.

Officers said Mays tried to hide but a K-9 officer located him. The chase led to a home near 35th and Howard streets, where OPD and the Omaha Fugitive Task Force surrounded the house and called the suspect out.

OPD investigators said in a report later in the day that while in the home, Mays assaulted a woman in the house with a knife before officers arrived at the scene.

Mays didn’t surrender and instead headed for the roof, police said.

“A canine was sent into the house to locate him. The suspect responded by breaking out of an attic window in attempting to escape,” OPD Sgt. Aaron Hanson said. “He kept himself on the roof for a period of time, refusing to submit or surrender. OFD arrived and assisted us with the ladder truck. We safely took him into custody.”

OPD hostage negotiators and and officers on scene worked to talk him off the roof with the assistance of an OFD ladder truck, the OPD release states.

Police said Mays did receive “secondary injuries” while breaking out the glass window. He was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center for evaluation before he was cleared and booked into Douglas County Corrections on charges of terroristic threats and domestic violence assault in addition to his warrants.

John Mays was arrested after leading the Omaha Police Fugitive Task Force on a chase Monday...
John Mays was arrested after leading the Omaha Police Fugitive Task Force on a chase Monday morning, July 19, 2021.(Omaha Police Department)

“In this case, there were a multitude of risk factors that could have come into play: He could have assaulted officers. He could have pulled officers off the roof,” Hanson said. “It was dangerous on many different levels. Luckily, it came to a peaceable conclusion.”

Midtown-area resident Justice Goolsby and his dog, Rufus, heard the commotion outside this morning.

“We woke up around like 7:30. We just heard all kinds of commotion and stuff,” he said. “The next thing we know, he’s busting out the window went on top of the roof just surrounded by cops and stuff. It was pretty crazy, yeah.”

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