SWAT responding to home in SW Jackson - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Fugitive Captured After Standoff

Melvin Patrick Mason. Source: Hancock County SD Melvin Patrick Mason. Source: Hancock County SD
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

An alleged sex offender, who was one of south Mississippi's Most Wanted criminals, is in custody after a standoff in Jackson. Forty-three year-old Melvin Mason was wanted for multiple counts of touching a child for lustful purposes and sexual battery in Hancock County.

The standoff lasted for several hours with multiple agencies including the FBI on Hawthorne Street near Metrocenter Mall.

FBI negotiators used a loud speaker calling for Mason to give himself up.

"He was inside with a female," said Jackson Assistant Police Chief Lee Vance. "The negotiators for the FBI started a dialogue with the individual. They were able to let him release the female."

It began Thursday afternoon around 1:30 when members of the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force received a tip about the fugitive. Mason barricaded himself inside a house at 446 Hawthorne Street near Morson Road.

Jackson Police, the Hinds County Sheriff's Department and the FBI worked from that point to just after 5:30 to bring him out and end the stand off safely.

"It was decided that the negotiations so to speak had reached a dead end, we activated the Jackson-Hinds SWAT Team", said Vance.

Mason was in Hancock County Circuit Court Monday to enter a plea on four counts of touching a child for lustful purposes and three counts of sexual battery. When the judge ordered a drug test and an officer was called to perform the test, Mason had disappeared.

"We got a tip, and thanks to good work by the FBI negotiators, and the Jackson Police-Hinds County SWAT team, we were able to get him into custody", Vance explained.

Homes in the area were evacuated, and there is no word on why Mason surfaced in Jackson. Police have not identified the woman who was with Mason.

"I think she had some type of relationship with him, but I'm not certain, but I do know she was in the house with him," Vance added.

Vance says Mason was armed and is being held in Jackson for now. He will be turned over to Hancock County authorities.

Mason had been out of jail on bond since his arrest on a fugitive warrant for child sex crimes in May of 2012.

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