Man at center of police standoff charged

James Willie Manuel

A man at the center of a Nov. 8 standoff with law enforcement officers was charged this week with burglary and damaging property.

James Willie Manuel, 41, of Ada was charged Monday in Pontotoc County District Court with second-degree burglary and malicious injury to property over $1,000 for damage he reportedly caused to an apartment building during the standoff.

District Attorney Paul B, Smith said “additional charges may be forthcoming depending on the results of any ongoing investigation.”

On Nov. 8, law enforcement officers from several agencies arrested Manuel after a tense and lengthy standoff.

The incident occurred in the Oxford Square apartment complex at 2001 B Street in Ada.

The standoff involved agents from the District 22 Drug Task Force, who were assisted by Ada police and Chickasaw Lighthorse police.

District 22 Drug Task Force Agent Adam Good said law enforcement officers were seeking to question Manuel about an incident which occurred the previous Saturday.

When law enforcement officers arrived to question Manuel, neighbors said he “freaked out” and climbed into some air conditioning vents in the attic of an apartment building.

Good said law enforcement then elected to obtain an arrest warrant since Manuel was not complying.

Good said the incident lasted seven hours, and that Manuel was eventually taken into custody, but not without incident.

Multiple levels of force were used to get Manuel to comply, including less lethal options, but Manuel refused to cooperate, Good said.

“Officers had to deploy some less lethal options, which still did not get him to comply,” Good said, “so he was eventually pulled through the ceiling.”

Authorities wanted to question Manuel in relation to an incident which occurred Nov. 6.

According to a court affidavit filed by Good, Ada police were called to the Oxford Square apartments Nov. 6 by the regional manager of the complex.

“The call was concerning the recent eviction of a tenant from apartment 19,” Good said in the affidavit. “The manager received information that the tenant may have broken back into the apartment after the legal process was completed, and could be squatting inside. The manager informed them that the apartment should be unoccupied.”

Several Ada police officers responded.

“They walked up to apartment 19 on a second story landing where they found marijuana laid out on the front porch area in front of the door,” Good said. “They visually estimated this to be in the weight range of pounds. They observed the deadbolt to the door had been removed and could see personal items in open view from a window.”

Good said police officers entered the dwelling and located three people inside, including one person who was hiding in a closet. Also found inside was an illegal sawed-off shotgun, a large amount of marijuana some of which was laid out and drying in one of the rooms and drug paraphernalia with a white residue believed to be methamphetamine.

Police interviewed the people discovered inside the residence.

“They explained that the marijuana was brought to the apartment by James ‘Cookie’ Manuel,” Good said. “He had done this previously as well. They also explained that the shotgun in the apartment belonged to Manuel.”

Good said, in addition to marijuana which was found throughout the apartment, a state issued I.D. card, a utility bill and an EBT card (food stamps) belonging to Manuel was located in the dwelling as well.

Good said Manuel damaged one of the apartment units during the Nov. 8 incident, which included falling through the ceiling a couple of times.

According to a court document, Manuel is accused of destroying a ceiling in one of the apartments and breaking and entering “with the intent to commit larceny.”

District Attorney Smith said, “After reviewing the evidence, Assistant District Attorney Nick Thurman brought the burglary charges based on the evidence indicating that the defendant allegedly broke through one of the walls, and is alleged to have taken a pair of shoes belonging to the resident of that apartment.”

Smith said, “As usual, all suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

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