A man wanted by the Fort Walton Beach Police Department on charges of sexual battery and battery by strangulation was taken into custody on Okaloosa Island Friday, but not before he tried to make a getaway.
The FWBPD gathered information that the subject was at an apartment on Okaloosa Island.
When Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the unit at 359 Billfish Avenue, they spotted the fugitive, 50 year old Jeffrey Sowell. Sowell quickly went back inside and tried to flee out the back door, but encountered another deputy. He fled inside yet again and a short time later appeared on the roof before jumping into a neighboring yard to try to escape. When Sowell entered that apartment’s garage, residents demanded he leave, confronting him at gunpoint. That sent Sowell running towards Santa Rosa Sound, where he was spotted by an OCSO Marine Unit. Sowell spotted the marine deputy and changed directions yet again, but was apprehended by deputies following a short foot pursuit. Along with the active warrants from the Fort Walton Beach Police Department for sexual battery and battery by strangulation, Sowell is also charged by the OCSO with resisting arrest and trespassing.
OCSO supervisors praised the teamwork of patrol units, Beach Units, and the Marine Unit in the capture.