On Friday night March 11th, 2011 Mark M. Thompson was arrested in DeFuniak Springs after he attempted to flee from law enforcement officers by jumping out of a moving vehicle and then running several blocks and hiding out inside a two story apartment complex (Quail Run Apartments).
Thompson was wanted for a Felony Violation of Probation Warrant and was being sought by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. Members of the task force from both DeFuniak Springs and Walton County spent most of Friday afternoon looking for Thompson after several tips placed him in the DeFuniak Springs area.
A DeFuniak Springs Police Detective spotted Thompson at around 5:00pm and attempted to stop the vehicle Thompson was driving (with lights and siren). Thompson attempted to elude the officer and then slowed the vehicle to a speed where he was able to leap out of the moving auto and continue to run on foot several blocks. Additional officers had established a perimeter and when another DeFuniak Springs detective spotted Thompson, another foot pursuit ensued, with Thompson seeking shelter inside of a local apartment unit (it was later determined that this unit belonged to a female friend of the suspect).
Task Force Officers from DeFuniak Springs and Okaloosa County mobilized near the apartment complex and then entered the unit, locating Thompson hidden under piles of clothing in a bedroom closet. Thompson was taken into custody on his outstanding Felony Violation of Probation Warrant and received additional charges of Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement and Resisting an Officer without Violence (charges stemming from the pursuit).
DeFuniak Springs Police also arrested Jia Holmes, the female subject that provided shelter to the fleeing felon. Holmes was charged with Child Neglect after she refused to allow entry into the residence and allowed a two year old child to be placed in between law enforcement and the fugitive hiding upstairs. The child was not hurt and was quickly taken out of the apartment by a patrol officer. The Florida Department of Children and Families was contacted with regards to the incident.
Officers from DeFuniak Springs Police, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Walton County Sheriff’s Office, all participated in the arrest.
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Lieutenant Tilman Mears
Special Operations Division Commander