A manhunt for two burglary suspects leads to a school lockdown and two arrests.
Batavia Police say at around 11:30 this morning, authorities were dispatched to 28 Park Avenue for a burglary-in-progress that an alert neighbor reported.
Police say 18-year-old Nathaniel Davis and 23-year-old Akeem Simmons entered the home from the front door.
Batavia Police Officers, Genesee County Sheriff Deputies and State Police Troopers converged on the area including two K-9s to track the suspects. A State Police helicopter also hovered over the area. St. Paul Lutheran Church School on Washington Avenue was put into lockdown on its own command.
Officers created a perimeter, looking for two black men with black hoodies running out the back door of the Park Avenue home.
Davis fled to the east and apprehended about 100 yards from the burglarized home. Once in custody, a frisk revealed he possessed a loaded hand gun.
Simmons sprinted west, but police were confident he could not escape the perimeter. He was found on Ellicott Avenue and further tried to evade police officers and a K-9.
Both were taken into questioning this afternoon. Simmons apparently suffered a foot injury in the incident.
Police say Simmons is a parole absconder and there is a history with Davis as a Batavia resident.
It was a concerted effort. One of the organizers was Detective Richard Schauf who described his thought process during the manhunt.
“Safety was first for the residents, safety for the officers was primary,” he said. “Our thought process was, we knew we had armed personnel out and about so any time we saw people out we asked them to stop in; any traffic in the area, we weren’t allowing to stop. You have to keep in mind that we’re also aware that maybe in this day and age of cellphones that this person is trying to contact this person to try and get him, so we’re trying to be aware of who’s around the area.”
The two are expected to be variously charged with first-degree burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and resisting arrest.
Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch applauded the inter-police-department response, as well as the residents who called dispatch to assist.
“We had numerous officers on foot out in that area,” he said. “We had the support of the state police helicopter which, in my opinion, was up in the area extremely quickly. We had the benefit of decent weather. Our officer responded quickly. They set up a perimeter very quickly. Sgt. (Dan) Coffey was up at the desk up here directing his men. Everybody assisted. Everybody worked very well together.”
But there were two unexpected and critical additions to the manhunt effort. Deputy Brian Thompson, who was off-duty, sprang into action to start a track with retired K-9 Pharaoh.
“He wasn’t even on duty at the time of the call,” Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said. “He heard it. He was washing his patrol car. He already had his dog there, he had some gear there and so he responded. He thought his dog would be of some service and he absolutely was.”
There were three K-9s used to apprehend the suspects: two from state police, each specializing in tracking and gun detection, and Pharaoh who, despite being retired, was ready to work when called upon.
Nathaniel Davis Akeem Simmons