FUGITIVE FROM SATURDAY'S MANHUNT IS CAPTURED
Stephean Richard Waphles
a/k/a Travis Shane Adams
A rural Mountain Home man who escaped from law enforcement authorities last Saturday, October 22nd, after a pursuit and manhunt lasting several hours was captured this morning by the Briarcliff City Marshal, Chuck Menschik. Marshal Menschik and a private citizen were checking vacant homes in the Rocky Ridge Road area South of Mountain Home in the Tracy Ferry community searching for 22 year old TRAVIS SHANE ADAMS. Authorities learned yesterday that TRAVIS ADAMS was an alias name being used by STEPHEAN RICHARD WAPHLES, the true offender.
At approximately 9:15 AM today, Marshal Menschik observed a blanket on the back deck of a vacant house and could tell that something or someone was underneath the blanket. Marshal Menschik gave verbal commands to the person concealed under the blanket, without response. The Marshal then pulled the blanket back and observed the suspect, who started to jump up. The Marshal subdued the suspect, handcuffed him, and effectuated the arrest. The Marshal did not have radio communication, so the private citizen with him called the 911 center to report the apprehension. A Trooper with the Arkansas State Police and Sheriff’s Deputies responded to assist. STEPHEAN RICHARD WAPHLES was transported to the Baxter County Detention Center and has been booked in. Specific charges and bond amount are still to be determined.
WAPHLES and co-defendant 37 year old JOHNNY LEE of Mountain Home were suspects in the theft of a work truck belonging to the City of Briarcliff. The Mayor of Briarcliff spotted the stolen truck on Saturday, alerted the Marshal and Sheriff’s Office, and a pursuit ensued. The suspects crashed the vehicle into a tree at the end of Rocky Ridge Road and fled into the woods. One of the suspects, JOHNNY LEE was apprehended a few hours later, while the second suspect, believed to be TRAVIS SHANE ADAMS, whose actual name is STEPHEAN RICHARD WAPHLES, fled further into the woods. A several hour manhunt involving multiple officers, the Sheriff’s Office helicopter, and the Canine Tracking Team from the North Central Unit – Arkansas Department of Corrections, failed to make apprehension of WAPHLES after several hours and the manhunt was called off.
The investigation continues and formal charges are pending against WAPHLES.
/s/ John F. Montgomery
Baxter County Sheriff