An aggravated battery suspect who climbed into an attic and escaped during a nearly six-hour SWAT operation at a Marietta apartment complex is in custody, police said.
Shortly after calling off the search for 27-year-old Maliek Devone Danridge just before noon Thursday, Atlanta police fugitive investigators received information he was in the 1700 block of Defoor Place in northwest Atlanta, department spokesman Investigator James White said Friday.
“Investigators responded to that location and found the suspect inside of a vehicle,” he said. “The suspect was wearing a fake beard at the time of his capture.”
Early Thursday, Atlanta police initially tracked Dandridge to The Park on Windy Hill apartments on Windy Hill Road and, with the help of Marietta’s SWAT unit, tried to take him into custody.
Officers entered the 2300 building and discovered Dandridge had crawled into an attic space above an apartment, Marietta police spokesman Officer Chuck McPhilamy told AJC.com. 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 just before 5:30 a.m. Thursday. 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.
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.”
When police found Dandridge in the vehicle in northwest Atlanta, they recovered a handgun from the car, White said.
Dandridge is being held in the Fulton County Jail without bond, records show. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 31.
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