Fugitive sex offender suspect captured after standoff in Jackson
By Dwayne Bremer
Feb 14, 2014, 20:09
Melvin Patrick Mason, a Hancock County man charged with sexual assault, was captured Thursday after a four-hour standoff at a home in Jackson.
Mason, 43, allegedly fled Hancock County Circuit Court
on Monday after Judge John Gargiulo ordered him to be drug tested, officials said.
Mason is charged with ten counts of touching a child for lustful purposes and three counts of sexual battery.
Gargiulo issued a warrant for Mason's arrest on Monday after Mason fled the courthouse.
Hancock County Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan said Thursday that officials with the FBI contacted him Thursday offering to assist in capturing Mason.
Sheriff Ricky Adam said Thursday that Mason had contacts in Jackson and officials were able to track him to a house on Hawthorne Street in south Jackson.
Mason's girlfriend and another person were living at the home, officials said.
When law enforcement officials arrived at the home, Mason barricaded himself inside and refused to come out, officials said.
A SWAT team from the Jackson Police Department surrounded the home shortly after. Shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, police entered the home and Mason surrendered without incident, officials said.
Adam said Hancock County already had a transport unit in Jackson picking up another inmate and that unit was able to get Mason and bring him back to Hancock County late Thursday.
"I want to personally thank the FBI, U.S. Marshal's Office, the Jackson Police Department, and the Hinds County Sheriff's Office for their assistance in apprehending Mr. Mason," Adam said Friday. "This is a dangerous suspect and I am glad he was able to be picked up so quickly."
Mason is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, a white supremacy group. He had previously been convicted of kidnapping, officials said.
Mason will now be held at the Hancock County Jail with no bond pending the outcome of his current charges.
Adam said he is not sure if the Jackson Police Department will be filing any charges against Mason.
Mason is expected to return to Hancock County Circuit Court next week to conclude his arraignment hearing, which he fled from on Monday, officials said.