DOTHAN, Ala. (WSFA) - A homeowner in south Alabama unknowingly helped bring to an end a police manhunt Tuesday after noticing the naked suspect’s feet hanging out from under a bed, according to police.
The story of how investigators brought the man, 44-year-old Dothan resident Jason Dewayne Creel, into custody took several turns and involved the stabbing death of a dog, pornography, and multiple pieces of stolen property.
A manhunt started for Creel Tuesday when Dothan police officers tried to stop the truck he was driving for a traffic violation. Instead of stopping, however, Creel hit the gas, fleeing police with a utility trailer loaded with stolen property.
Creel drove through the yard of one home, causing damage to a fence and the house, police said. He then abandoned the truck and ran into some nearby woods.
Units from the Dale County and Houston County sheriff’s offices, along with ALEA investigators, Alabama State Troopers, and the Wiregrass Aviation Support Program, joined Dothan police in a manhunt of the area.
While they didn’t immediately find the suspect, they came across multiple pieces of stolen property including two more utility trailers and a lawn mower that had been stolen from a local church. And in the bed of the abandoned truck, investigators found stolen items from a recent burglary in Geneva County including guns, televisions, tools, and electronics.
But where was the suspect? It would take investigators hours to determine the answer to that question.
While they were looking for him, Creel was apparently stripping down, getting lunch, and logging on to the family computer of a home he’d broken into, police said.
Since Creel was wet and dirty from his flight through the woods, investigators say he took off his clothes, threw them in a closet, then raided the refrigerator for food. After looking at online porn for an unknown amount of time, the suspect apparently decided to take a nap under a bed.
Police quickly responded to the home on Riveredge Parkway and, working off the assumption the intruder was the suspect they were searching for, authorities gave a verbal warning for him to come out. They got no response.
When Creel woke up, it was to the face of Dothan Police K9 Officer “Xander,” who bit him on the bicep. Video from the scene taken by WTVY showed officers escorting Creel from the home in a white covering. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries.
The story had a final, unfortunate, turn following Creel’s arrest. The homeowner noticed that the family dog, a mixed breed lab/bulldog named “Buddy” was missing. Investigators eventually found the animal under the deck at the rear of the home.
Buddy had been stabbed multiple times in the throat, according to Dothan investigators, and died as a result.
When police asked Creel about the dog’s death, he reportedly told them that it “came at him” so he stabbed it with his pocket knife.
Creel, identified by WTVY as a “habitual” criminal, is now facing numerous charges in relation to Tuesday’s events. A check of court records shows numerous criminal charges against Creel dating back years, and includes time in prison.
Charges from Tuesday’s incident include three counts of first-degree property theft, one count of first-degree receiving stolen property, one count of third-degree burglary, one count of aggravated animal cruelty, and certain persons forbidden to possess firearms.
The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.
Currently, Creel is being held without bond.