ASHLAND -- The man taken into custody after Monday morning’s manhunt near Orange Road and Jacobson Avenue has been identified and was arraigned Tuesday morning in Ashland Municipal Court.
Joshua A. Littleton, of Ashland, was charged with one count of inducing panic, obstructing official business, criminal trespassing and falsification in an official proceeding and two counts of driving under a suspended license, according to court records.
Ashland Police Chief David Marcelli said the manhunt had been initiated Monday to take “every precaution” after receiving a tip at 7:38 a.m. Monday from a concerned citizen.
The caller said she observed two men dressed in black clothing with a rifle-like gun and flashlights walking into a wooded area and a suspicious vehicle across the street. She was especially concerned because of the incident's proximity to a group of children, who were gathering at a bus stop nearby.
Officers of the Ashland Police Division and the Ohio State Highway Patrol were on the scene in four minutes. They observed what might have been two people, approximately 75 feet in the woods. One was carrying what appeared to be a long firearm, or possibly a crossbow, or bow.
They called for the person(s) to come out and speak with them, but instead the individual(s) crouched as they looked back at the officers and then moved further into the woods and out of sight.
Officers utilized a loudspeaker from a cruiser to call for them to come out. They still did not comply. The wooded area is within city limits, and not open to hunting, a press release noted. It's also clearly marked, "No trespass."
Officers of the Ashland Police Division, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ashland County Sheriff's Office set up a perimeter and a command post was established. This was because of the “strangeness of the situation,” Marcelli said.
At approximately 9 a.m. perimeter units observed a white male matching the description, walking the railroad tracks. They commanded him to stop, and he did not comply. They then located him south of the initial call at East 9th and Virginia Avenue. At this point, he was taken into custody for questioning.
The wooded area was searched by Ashland and Ohio State Patrol SRT teams with the assistance of an Ashland Police K9. The Ohio State Patrol ran the aerial search of the wooded area with a drone and its thermal camera.
They were unable to locate another individual and decided to call off the search.