When you are a law enforcement officer and you open a trailer door and find yourself staring down the barrel of a gun, you know it’s not going to be a good day.
A standoff that lasted at least six hours and a crime scene that extended far beyond that is “just a normal day in the neighborhood,” Captain John Murphy of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office told The Daily Times.
Murphy said the initial call came in at 5:05 p.m. Friday that a subject was possibly cooking methamphetamine at 51 Highland Drive, in Wheelersburg.
“Officers arrived on the scene and were investigating the complaint and while they were investigating the complaint, two subjects exited the location there at 51 Highland Drive,” Murphy said. “Foot pursuit ensued and both subjects were arrested.”
While investigating the complaint, Murphy said there was an odor of a possible meth lab and while checking an area adjacent to the property, officers said they found fragments of a possible cook going on.
“When they opened the trailer door they were met with the subject inside pointing a gun at the officers,” Murphy said. “The guy barricaded himself inside and that’s when it all went to pot.”
A standoff with 49-year-old Dennis Bradford followed for at least the next six hours until he was taken into custody at 12:17 a.m. Saturday. Bradford was treated by Porter Township EMS at the scene before being transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center for treatment due to chemical and gas exposure. Upon release from the hospital Bradford was transported to the Scioto County Jail.
Bradford has been charged with felonious assault of a police officer, a felony of the first degree, and illegal manufacturing of drugs, also a first-degree felony.
At the height of the standoff, Gregory Smith, a resident of 234 Pershing Ave., located in close proximity of the stand off, told the Daily Times that police and deputies had the trailer surrounded where Bradford was lodged. Smith said he has known Bradford since he was a child.
“His neighbor, (Bradford’s) called the law because he has been making meth in this camper, and he has called the law several times,” Smith said. “He has a gun back there in the camper, because he showed the cops the gun earlier when I was over there. I saw him hold up the gun, and kind of pointed it at them and told them he wasn’t going to turn himself in. So that’s what’s been going on, he’s been over there since about four o’clock when I got off of work. When I heard about it I came straight down the road because I’ve known the boy since he was a kid.”
After the arrest was made, the work was not over for employees of the sheriff’s office.
“After we got the subject (Bradford) in custody, our units were still on the scene processing the meth lab,” Murphy said. “Cleanup wasn’t completed until 3:56 (Saturday) morning.”
Murphy said the operation was a team effort.
“We had assistance from the Portsmouth Police Department, The Ohio State Highway Patrol, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol Special Response Team (SRT) Unit,” Murphy said.
After long hours of being on the scene, officers were glad to get back to their routine.
“It was a long drawn-out process, and we appreciate all the help of the Portsmouth Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, for helping it come to a good end,” Murphy said.
Also arrested were John Bowling, 22, of Marne Avenue, Portsmouth and Derek Linkous, 24, of Seventh Street, Portsmouth. Both have been charged with Illegal Manufacturing of drugs a felony of the 1st degree, and Illegal Assembly with possession of chemicals a felony of the 2nd degree. Both are being held on $150.000.00 cash bond and will appear in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Monday June 20, 2016 at 9:00am.
“They all are incarcerated in the custody of the Scioto County Jail,” Murphy said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.