Travelers Help Catch Fugitive

Friday, February 23rd 2007, 6:13 am
By: News On 6

TONKAWA, Okla. (AP) -- Law enforcement officers looking for a fugitive received a key assist from a clever trio of travelers Thursday afternoon. Christopher Wayne Smith showed up late to the Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska Thursday for an appearance on a stolen-property charge, Osage County Sheriff's deputies said.

When a sheriff’s deputy tried to arrest him, Smith fled, stole a car and led law enforcement on a chase across Osage County, deputies said. The stolen car became stuck near a river near Tonkawa in Kay County.

Three young men picked up Smith while he was hitchhiking in Kay County Thursday night, said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West said.

"They knew (law enforcement) were up here looking," West said. "They posed as if they were there to help him. But they brought him right to us."

Smith ran from the travelers' vehicle when he saw law enforcement officers, but an Osage Nation tribal police officer arrested him shortly thereafter, West said.