COLUMBIA CITY — A Columbia City man who caused a business and home lockdown Wednesday evening was taken into custody at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Skyler Roff led police on a nearly 24-hour chase, involving multiple agencies from three counties.
Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel issued a statement Thursday morning giving information toward the incident – quelling rumors that were circulating.
He said the CCPD was informed of Roff’s whereabouts and attempted to capture him due to a warrant for misdemeanor charges. Prior to his capture, Roff allegedly fled from the Marathon gas station near Armstrong Drive and U.S. 30. He ran west on Connexion Way, turning north on Lincolnway.
Police say Roff drove his car into a cornfield and fled on foot. Officers chased him, but were unable to capture him before he entered a wooded area.
“At that point, parameters were established and the lock down was determined as a precautionary measure,” Daniel said. “The rationale for the lockdown was because the suspect was a known drug user with identified paraphernalia in the car, and there was enough evidence to suspect he was carrying a firearm. Furthermore, he had made multiple threats in the past that he was willing to do whatever it took to stay out of custody.”
For multiple hours, officers searched the area on foot, utilized three drones, three K-9 units and other tools to look for Roff. The lockdown was cancelled at about 7:45 p.m. after police believed Roff was no longer a threat to the public, rather a threat to police and himself.
“We believed to have him locked down within the perimeter,” Daniel said. “Unfortunately, after multiple additional hours of searching, we were unable to find the individual.”
Daniel used social media to encourage the community to contact police if they had information on Roff’s whereabouts.
“We request you to urge him to turn himself in peacefully,” Daniel said.
Multiple police units were called to the 6000 block of North County Road 300 East, where Roff was detained.
While en route to the jail, the police unit transporting Roff pulled off the road in the area of Linker Road and State Road 9. According to police scanner traffic, the officer said Roff was coming in and out of consciousness and he believed Roff was dehydrated.
Roff was then transported by EMS to Parkview Whitley, where he will be held until being booked in the Whitley County Jail.
Assisting Columbia City’s Police Department were: Whitley County Sheriffs Dept, Whitley County Sheriff’s Dispatch, Columbia City Police Dispatch, Noble County Sheriffs Department, Warsaw City Police Department, Avilla Town Police Department, Indiana State Police, Department of Natural Resources, ATF and the Whitley County Emergency Management Agency.
Roff was arrested by the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department June 15 for criminal mischief. He bonded out in the same day. He was also booked in the jail in May for failure to appear, failure to comply, driving while suspended prior and possession of paraphernalia, and was arrested in November 2016 for battery causing bodily injury.