WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A situation involving nearly 30 officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department and SWAT that lasted almost four hours on Hampton Road has been cleared after police discovered the alleged suspect’s location.
Sgt. Charlie Eipper, Public Information Officer with the Wichita Falls Police Department, said the suspect who was believed to have barricaded himself inside a detached garage at a residence in the 1800 block of Hampton Road was confirmed by officers to be at another location in the city.
“We take the news that he’s not actually on the property as good news,” Sgt. Eipper said. “Protective orders, they’re surrounded around domestic violence, and so we take that very seriously. That’s why we’ve been out here for so long, almost four hours now, to make sure he’s not on the property, because we know how dangerous these types of incidents can be.”
The situation began at around 9:37 a.m. on Monday, June 5, 2023, when police said a woman called to report that a male subject was on the property in the 1800 block of Hampton Road, near the intersection of Star Avenue on the eastern side of Wichita Falls city limits.
Sgt. Eipper said the male subject had assaulted the woman on May 19, 2023, and was charged with assault family violence. Following his arrest, a protective order was filed, naming the victim as the protected person and the male as the person she was to be protected from.
Sgt. Eipper said the male subject was arrested on May 26, 2023, after he appeared on the property in the 1800 block of Hampton Road in violation of the protective order. He was arrested without incident.
Just after 1:30 p.m., after a SWAT situation that lasted nearly four hours, Sgt. Eipper confirmed that the male believed to be on the property was at another location entirely.
According to Sgt. Eipper, no charges will be filed against the man they believed barricaded himself in the detached garage, because the crime they believed him to be committing, violation of a protective order, did not occur.
Sgt. Eipper said that despite the public inconvenience of a situation like the one that occurred Monday on Hampton Road, they have an obligation to ensure public safety.
“We always assume the worst, because if you start assuming less, that’s when people get hurt,” Sgt. Eipper said. “It’s an inconvenience, we hate it, but we have to do that to protect everyone.”
Sgt. Eipper then addressed the citizens of Wichita Falls who may believe a heavy police presence and the deployment of SWAT to detain a suspect that was later discovered to not be on the property is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
“We don’t look at it that way at all,” Sgt. Eipper said. “We’re taxpayers as well. But we also have an inside view of how dangerous the kind of things [can be]. There have been times where we do show up and there has been more violence, or even a homicide has occurred because it’s escalated.”
Sgt. Eipper said ensuring the safety of not only the public but of the reporting party, is of the utmost importance to the Wichita Falls Police Department.
“We wanted to make sure that didn’t happen here,” Sgt. Eipper said. “We wanted to make sure that if there was a violation of the protective order, there’s an arrest been made because that’s protecting the victim.”
At the end of the day, no officers, citizens, or bystanders were hurt, including the reporting party, and Sgt. Eipper believes that’s a win for the police department.
“It turned out to be a good ending,” Sgt. Eipper said.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available.