Investigator Glenn Wheeler with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office says Newton County Deputies, a DTF Investigator and a State Trooper were involved in an armed standoff near Mt. Judea on Tuesday morning.
Wheeler says authorites were notified during the early morning hours of a disturbance at a residence near Mt. Judea. Officers were told Jeremey Freeman, aged 30 of Mt. Judea, had became angry at his brother. The brother, along with his girlfriend and their child were in a bedroom with the door closed when Freeman fired a shotgun through the bedroom door toward the couple and child. Freeman already had two outstanding felony warrants for his arrest.
The victims were able to escape the house, but Freeman, still armed with a sawed-off shotgun, barricaded himself in the house. Freeman had also recently gone on a Facebook rant, which he later took down, threatening the life of Sheriff Slape and stating he had a rifle and would stack Deputies in the yard like firewood if they came to his house, so area Law Enforcement was familiar with him.
Newton County Deputies, an Arkansas State Trooper and an Investigator with the 14th Judicial District’s Drug Task Force responded to the residence and were able to set up a perimeter. Deputies outside the residence were able to make contact with Freeman using loud speakers and Sheriff Keith Slape was able to make contact with him by phone.
Deputies and Sheriff Slape negotiated with Freeman for some time but Freeman was adamat he wasn’t coming out and did not recognize the authority of the Law Enforcement Officers or judges. Freeman could be seen at a window of the residence and could sometimes be seen carrying a shotgun and barricading the door.
After drawn-out negotations, Freeman came outside and was taken into custody with little incident. Officers were then able to check the house for any other victims. No one else was inside, but officers located an illegally modified sawed off shotgun, that was later determined to be stolen, lying beneath the window where Freeman had been interacting with officers. Officers additionally found where he had fired through the door at the family members.
A subsequent search of the residence yielded narcotics and drug paraphernalia. In addition to the outstanding warrants, Freeman also faces charges of 3 counts of Aggravated Assault, Felony Terroristing Threatening, Theft by Receiving, Possession of a Schedule II Narcotic, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Felony Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, Criminal Use of a Prohibited Weapon, Disorderly Conduct and Failure to Submit to Arrest. Freeman is being held in the Newton County Jail.
Investigator Wheeler said “I’m glad Jeremy decided to come out peacefully and no one was injured. Watching his mannerisms and listening to his rants at us, in addition to him having the weapon, it could have easily gone bad. All the officers on scene and the Sheriff negotiating on the phone all did a great job and showed great professionalism to bring it to a peaceful ending.”
Sheriff Slape echoed Wheeler’s thoughts. “I’m proud of my guys and the other agencies involved. Everyone came together and executed a plan that kept the public and Mr. Freeman safe.”
Wheeler added “This is the third standoff or hostage situation Newton County has had in just over a month.” END OF RELEASE.