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IPD making quick arrests

The Ironton Police Department has made some key arrests in the past several days including a person of interest in a recent tire slashing spree on an unrelated charge.

Brent Patrick, 25, who IPD named as a “person of interest” in the recent mass tire slashing on Tenth, Eleventh and Latonia streets in Ironton, was arrested on an unrelated probation violation.

Two people suspected of murder and three suspected of aggravated robbery have also been apprehended in the past week.

“It’s definitely a feather in our cap,” Dan Johnson, IPD chief, said. “It shows our officers are being observant and doing their jobs. Everyone is doing a great job.”

Officers with the Ironton Police Department arrested two teenagers Saturday wanted for murder in Lawrence County, Ind.

Johnson said officers Chad Gue, Jason Chavez and Katie Lawson arrested two suspects, Taylor Flynn, 19, and a 16-year-old, of Bedford, Ind., after a chase led police to Ironton.

The two teens allegedly fled Indiana following the beating death and robbery of Rodney Allender, 43, at his Heltonville, Ind., home on Feb. 28.

Two men wanted in connection with the November 2013 robbery of Rax restaurant in Ironton were also arrested.

David Artis, 23, of 275 N. Third St. Apt. 202, Ironton, indicted on a first-degree count of aggravated robbery, was arrested by the IPD’s Special Response Team on Feb. 25.

Detective Joe Ross said citizens’ tips led officers to Artis, who was arrested in the 200 block of South Third Street.

The second suspect, Joshua Dyer, who allegedly participated in the robbery surrendered to authorities this past Friday. Another man in a separate alleged aggravated robbery has also been arrested.

“Things are going well right now. Morale is high and it seems there’s a lot more confidence in our department,” Johnson said. “A week and a half ago a woman walked up and thanked me for my service. I was in the military so I had been told that before, but this time it was for being a police officer.”

Johnson said his department is awaiting the arrival of four new Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles on Thursday.

“People will be seeing a new type of cruiser on the streets of Ironton,” Johnson said. “It will be a few weeks before they hit the road because we have to get them striped and put in the radios.”

The Police Interceptor Utility is modeled after Ford’s Explorer SUV and is popular for police departments that require special interior and cargo capabilities. The Police Interceptor Utility model is built for full pursuit and provides the same power, performance and protection as the Police Interceptor sedan, but with increased interior space.

The new utility cruisers will be beneficial, Johnson said, when the city’s final budget is approved and he can begin assembling the department’s new drug task force.

“The county is just too big for the sheriff’s task force to handle it all,” Johnson said. “As soon as we know how much money we will have to allocate to the task force we will begin putting it together.”

IPD requested funds from the Ironton finance committee in January to help with the start of the department’s own drug task force. The task force would be an offshoot of the newly formed Special Response Team, which has already netted arrests of suspects wanted on warrants.

“It’s no secret there is a drug problem in Ironton and it’s not just Ironton it’s everywhere,” Johnson said. “Ironton has a high concentration of people and that creates a breeding ground for drugs. It’s not a lower, middle or upper-class problem. It’s just a problem.”