Marietta SWAT officers gather outside The Park on Windy Hill apartment complex on Windy Hill Road where a wanted man is hiding inside an attic Thursday morning.
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

SWAT search ends after suspect escapes from attic of Marietta apartment

A nearly six-hour SWAT operation at a Marietta apartment complex has ended after an aggravated battery suspect climbed into an attic and later escaped. 

Authorities called the search for the fugitive quits just before noon Thursday, Marietta police spokesman Officer Chuck McPhilamy told AJC.com. Atlanta police tracked the man to The Park on Windy Hill apartments on Windy Hill Road and, with the help of Marietta’s SWAT unit, had been trying to take him into custody since before 5:30 a.m. 

Officers entered the 2300 building and discovered the suspect, 27-year-old Maliek Dandridge, had crawled into an attic space above an apartment, McPhilamy said. Evidence of firearms was located in the apartment, but police did not know if the man had weapons with him in the attic.


 

McPhilamy said by all indications Dandridge was in the apartment complex when they arrived Thursday morning. During the ordeal, Dandridge broke through the ceiling of a neighbor’s apartment and broke through the interior walls of another one trying to get outside, he said.

“Additionally, you had neighboring units with people within the units saying that he was making noise in the attic,” McPhilamy said. 

A sniper sits ready in a Marietta police SWAT vehicle Thursday morning at The Park on Windy Hill apartments, where an aggravated battery suspect is hiding out inside an attic. 
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

SWAT officers were called and made their way inside the 16-unit building around 7:45 a.m. They searched room-to-room in each unit and determined Dandridge was not there.

“It was a very methodical process between the two agencies to work together to make sure that no one was injured during this search,” McPhilamy said. “They had a chance to search the entire building ... so that took quite an amount of time, in addition to all of the attic space.”

—Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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