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Fugitive Found In Joplin Motel Attic - KOAM TV 7

Fugitive Found In Joplin Motel Attic

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Joplin, MO -

A standoff between a Joplin man and SWAT team members ends with an arrest at a motel, but not in the motel room where police believed he was hiding.

34-year-old Donald Loomis was believed to be armed and dangerous.  Joplin police say Loomis had active felony warrants out of Ottawa County, Oklahoma for possessing a stolen vehicle, eluding a police officer, and malicious injury to property.  Police say in Jasper County, Missouri, Loomis had an active felony warrant for the charge of resisting officers.  

Joplin police say a relatively new tactic paid off big.

"One of the things we did a couple of years ago is we integrated the K-9 team with the SWAT team," says Captain Bob Higginbotham with the Joplin Police Department.

Police say Loomis was found inside the attic of Motel 6.

"Immediately, the K-9 went to him and engaged him, and shortly thereafter, he fell through the ceiling into room 207," says Higginbotham.

Loomis was arrested in a motel room different from where Joplin's SWAT initially thought he was hiding.

"We were able to confirm that he had gained access to the attic through a crawl space that was in his room," says Higginbotham.

Police say the crawl space goes throughout the motel.  

Earlier in the day, SWAT members used a sound system to communicate with Loomis, and several rounds of tear gas were fired into his motel room.  Loomis was arrested more than five hours after police first arrived at the Motel 6.  He was treated for a K-9 bite.

"He has been transported to the Joplin city jail," says Higginbotham.

Police believed Loomis was armed and dangerous.  However, police say no weapons were found on Loomis or in his motel room.  Nonetheless, police say they had to take all necessary precautions.  

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