A suspect was in up to his neck -- figuritively and literally -- when police pulled him out of a manure pit near Albion to face multiple arrest warrants Tuesday, April 21.
Thomas Hovis Jr., 52, was held on thirteen Steuben County arrest warrants, most drug related, after being taken into custody at 0866 W US 6, according to the Noble County Sheriff's Department. Charges are also now pending out of Noble County after the incident, which went on for most of the evening as Hovis allegedly stood off officers, then resisted arrest.
Emergency response teams were sent to the locatiion due to the nature of the charges and Hovis' criminal history, which include a murder conviction, aggravated battery with a knife, drug charges, and burglary. When units arrived they saw Hovis flee into an outbuilding on the property and surrounded it. Hovis allegedly refused to come out, even after police fired tear gas into the structure, and they ended up having to force their way insde.
There they allegedly found Hovis standing neck deep in a liquid manure pit in the building, which had previously been used as a hog barn. After they got him out Hovis allegedly became combative, but was subdued with a Taser and placed into custody.
Hovis was taken by EMS to Parkview Noble Hospital in Kendallville, where he was treated for hypothermia before being taken to the Steuben County Jail. There he faces the thirteen charges, which include Manufacturing and possession methamphetamine, possession marijuana, paraphernalia, and controlled substances, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, habitual offender, and habitual substance offender.
During the course of the afternoon and evening officers spotted items related to narcotics, and obtained a search warrant for the property. After arresting Hovis they reportedly found three "one pot" meth labs, one of them still active, along with two grams of meth, eighteen marijuana plants, three handguns, and an assault type rifle. That could result in several more charges against Hovis once the investigation is complete.
Agencies involved in the incident include the Sheriff's Department, Albion Police Department, IMAGE Drug Task Force, Northeast Indiana SWAT, Noble County Special Operations Group, Indiana State Police ERT Team, and Noble County EMS.
The Albion Fire Department was initially called out to wash Hovis down, but they were disregarded when police determined he was sufficiently cleaned off.