Law enforcement might be closing in on man who escaped custody
By The Herald Staff | 3/7/2014
Law enforcement officials continued to search Friday for a 31-year-old Ottawa man who ran from court security Thursday morning in the hallway of the Franklin County District Court building after being sentenced to serve time in the county jail.
Mark Wayne Baber was able to elude security and lead officers on a foot chase about 9:45 a.m. Thursday that continued outside the court building, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa.
Baber still had not been located as late Friday morning, Dennis Butler, Ottawa police chief, said during the First Friday Forum at Neosho County Community College, 900 E. Logan St., Ottawa.
Butler said he was pretty sure law enforcement officials knew where Baber was and it was just a matter of time before he would be caught.
Baber, a white man described as being medium height and around 200 pounds wearing a black sweatshirt and black pants, was last seen at the corner of Fourth and Main streets, heading west on Fourth Street, moments after he ran from the court building.
Officers with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Ottawa Police Department combed residential neighborhoods on West Fourth Street and the surrounding area Thursday but had no luck in locating Baber.
“He had been remanded into custody and escaped from court security in the hallway in the district court building,” Jeff Richards, Franklin County sheriff, said Thursday afternoon. “He had been sentenced to serve time in jail for a probation violation.”
Anyone who has seen Baber or who has information about his location should call 911.